Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Vasectomy-associated prostate cancer risk 'small'

Friday Jul 11 2014

Vasectomy prostate cancer risk 'small'

“Men who have the snip increase their risk of suffering fatal prostate cancer, according to research,” the Daily Mail reports. However, while the increase in risk was found to be statistically significant, it was small in absolute terms…

Obesity link for siblings

Thursday Jul 10 2014

Obesity link found between siblings

“Children are five times more likely to become obese if their older brother or sister is overweight,” reports the Daily Mail. There is a widespread assumption that a significant risk factor for child obesity is if they have…

Malaria parasites can 'hide' inside bone marrow

Thursday Jul 10 2014

Malaria parasites can 'hide' inside bone marrow

“Malaria parasites can hide inside the bone marrow and evade the body's defences, research confirms,” BBC News report. It is hoped that this insight into the activities of the parasites could lead to new treatments...

Call to tackle maternal blood infection risk

Wednesday Jul 9 2014

Risk of blood infection in labour 'overlooked'

“Pregnant women and new mothers need closer attention for signs of potentially fatal sepsis, a study says,” reports BBC News. While still rare, sepsis – a blood infection – is now the leading cause of maternal death in the UK...

Cycling linked to prostate cancer, but not infertility

Wednesday Jul 9 2014

Cycling linked to prostate cancer, but not infertility

"Men who cycle more than nine hours a week are … more likely to develop prostate cancer," the Mail Online inaccurately reports. The story comes from the publication of an online survey into cycling in the UK and its effects on health outcomes…

Gene mutation linked to distinct type of autism

Tuesday Jul 8 2014

Gene mutation linked to distinct type of autism

“Have scientists found the autism gene?" asks the Mail Online. The news is based on a genetic study that found children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were more likely to have a mutation in a gene called CHD8 than children without the disorder…

New Alzheimer’s test may help future clinical trials

Tuesday Jul 8 2014

Blood test for Alzheimer’s '87% accurate'

"Research in more than 1,000 people has identified a set of proteins in the blood which can predict the start of the dementia with 87% accuracy," BBC News reports. But media claims that "Alzheimer's disease could be prevented" are premature…

Two-question test for alcohol misuse 'effective'

Monday Jul 7 2014

Two question screening for alcohol misuse 'effective'

“Do you regularly have more than six drinks in one sitting? Or do you regret a drunken escapade that took place in the past year? Answering yes to both questions may be a sign that you have a drink problem," the Mail Online reports.

Aggressive breast cancer protein discovered

Monday Jul 7 2014

Scientists make breakthrough in breast cancer research

"A breakthrough by scientists could lead to a new treatment for one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer," the Mail Online reports. Researchers have identified a protein called integrin αvβ6…

Children’s TV contains unhealthy 'food cues'

Friday Jul 4 2014

Children’s TV contains unhealthy 'food cues'

'Children are being bombarded with scenes of unhealthy eating on TV' The Independent reports. Researchers looking at public broadcasting in the UK and Ireland found children’s TV contained a high number of visual and verbal references to unhealthy foods…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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