Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Healthier lifestyles 'could cut cancer death rates'

Friday May 20 2016

"Half of all cancer deaths could be avoided if people simply adopted a healthier lifestyle," the Daily Mail reports. A new study adds to the weight of evidence that says combining simple lifestyle changes can dramatically…

Review calls for global action to tackle antibiotic resistance crisis

Friday May 20 2016

"Superbugs will kill someone every three seconds by 2050 unless the world acts now," BBC News reports. A review commissioned by the UK government says wide-ranging action is required at a global level to prevent a post-antibiotic future…

Study: 'mini strokes should be treated immediately with aspirin'

Thursday May 19 2016

"People should consider taking aspirin immediately after a minor stroke," BBC News reports. A review of existing evidence found people treated with aspirin after a mini stroke (transient ischaemic attack, or TIA)…

Magic mushroom ingredient tested as depression treatment

Wednesday May 18 2016

"Magic mushrooms 'promising' in depression," BBC News reports. Magic mushrooms is an umbrella term for fungi that contain psilocybin. This is a psychoactive substance that can cause intense LSD-like…

Are broken bones, loneliness and poor sleep really hidden killers?

Wednesday May 18 2016

"Revealed, the five hidden killers that could send you to an early grave," the Daily Mail reports. These "hidden killers" include loneliness and poor sleep. But this is a simplistic take on complex research…

Women who regularly attend religious services 'live longer'

Tuesday May 17 2016

"Going to church could save your life," reports the Daily Mail, adding that, "Women who worship once a week are '25 per cent less likely to die early'." Perhaps surprisingly, while the first part of the headline is overly simplistic…

Dad's age, diet and lifestyle may cause birth defects

Monday May 16 2016

"Men are being warned to become fathers by 40 or face a greater risk of having children with serious illnesses," the Daily Mail reports after a new review looked at some of the evidence about paternal influences on the risk of childhood diseases…

Immune system 'plays a role in dementia'

Friday May 13 2016

"Scientists have identified a new cause of devastating neurological conditions," the Mail Online reports – but this is entirely inaccurate. A review of existing evidence makes the case that the innate immune system may be…

No evidence probiotics are beneficial for healthy adults

Thursday May 12 2016

"Probiotic goods a 'waste of money' for healthy adults, research suggests," The Guardian reports. A new review of previously gathered data found no evidence that probiotics improved the balance of gut bacteria in healthy adults…

Is a pint of beer a day good for the heart?

Thursday May 12 2016

"Pint of beer a day could protect you from heart attacks," The Independent reports. A new review on the alleged protective effects of moderate beer drinking has been warmly welcomed by the UK media – but nobody reported it was funded…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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