Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Green tea compound may improve cancer drugs

Monday Oct 6 2014

Green tea compound may improve cancer drugs

"Green tea could helps [sic] scientists develop new cancer fighting drugs," the Mail Online reports. Before you rush out to the shops, in no way does this study suggest green tea can fight cancer. Instead, research has found a compound in green tea…

Study finds clue to why colds trigger asthma

Friday Oct 3 2014

Study reveals new clue into why colds trigger asthma attacks

The Mail Online reports how "a simple cold can set off a deadly asthma attack: Scientists discover chemical can send the immune system into overdrive". It is well known that in people with asthma…

Moderate regular drinking may 'damage sperm'

Friday Oct 3 2014

Even moderate regular drinking damages sperm

“Just five alcoholic drinks a week could reduce sperm quality,” The Guardian reports. A study involving Danish military recruits found that even moderate drinking, if done regularly, was associated with a drop in quality…

Scientists look into regenerating retinal cells

Thursday Oct 2 2014

Stem cells harvested from eyes could treat blindness

'Scientists … have discovered stem cells in the human eye which can be transformed into light sensitive cells and potentially reverse blindness' The Daily Telegraph reports. The research is still at a very early stage but does show promising potential…

Does losing your sense of smell predict death risk?

Thursday Oct 2 2014

Simple smell test 'could predict five-year death risk'

"Sense of smell 'may predict lifespan'," BBC News reports. New research suggests people unable to smell distinctive scents, such as peppermint or fish, may have an increased risk of death within five years…

Minimum alcohol pricing would 'save 100s of lives'

Wednesday Oct 1 2014

Minimal alcohol pricing would 'save 100s of lives'

“‘Hundreds of lives lost' over failure to bring in minimum alcohol pricing,” The Independent reports. The news is based on research that modelled the effect of a minimum alcohol price per unit of around 40 to 50 pence…

Viagra 'may cause visual disturbance' in some men

Wednesday Oct 1 2014

Viagra 'may cause eye damage' in some men

"Viagra may permanently damage vision in some men, study finds," reports The Guardian. But the news is, in fact, based on research in mice. This research suggests the medication may not be suitable for men who carry a gene mutation…

High levels of tooth decay found in three-year-olds

Tuesday Sep 30 2014

One in eight three-year-olds have tooth decay

"Tooth decay affects 12% of three-year-olds, says survey," BBC News reports. The survey, carried out by Public Health England, found big variations in different parts of the country. Experts believe sugary drinks are to blame for this trend…

Deep-fried Mars bars: no link with sudden stroke

Tuesday Sep 30 2014

Deep-fried Mars bars will probably not give you a stroke

“Eating a deep-fried Mars bar could give you a stroke in minutes,” reports Metro. However, the study that prompted this headline found no evidence that the Scottish snack can potentially trigger a fatal stroke within minutes...

Will a 'wonder drug' be available in 10 years?

Monday Sep 29 2014

Claims of a cure-all wonder drug 'available in 10 years'

"Wonder drug to fight cancer and Alzheimer's disease within 10 years," is the headline in The Daily Telegraph. This headline is a textbook example of hope (and hype) triumphing over reality…

What is Behind the Headlines?

What is Behind the Headlines?

We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

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