Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Is bad luck the leading cause of cancer?

Monday Mar 27 2017

"Most cancers are caused by random mistakes in the genetic code when cells divide out of the blue, new research shows," the Daily Mail reports. But this is an oversimplification of research that…

New breast cancer drugs could help more than previously thought

Wednesday Mar 15 2017

"Up to one in five women with breast cancer could benefit from a type of treatment currently only given to patients with a rare form of the disease," The Independent reports. Research suggests around 20% of women with breast cancer…

Is red hair gene linked to increased risk of Parkinson's?

Monday Mar 6 2017

"Redheads are more likely to develop Parkinson's," claims the Mail Online after a study found the gene that makes people with red hair susceptible to skin cancer also increases the risk of brain disease...

Artificial mouse embryos created

Friday Mar 3 2017

"Artificial human life could soon be grown from scratch in the lab, after scientists successfully created a mammal embryo using only stem cells," reports The Daily Telegraph, which is an extremely premature claim…

New insights into why breast cancer drugs fail for some women

Tuesday Jan 24 2017

"Breast cancer drugs taken by thousands of women stop working because tumours 'outsmart' them," is the headline in The Sun. Around 70% of breast cancer cases are what are known as oestrogen-receptor positive breast cancers…

Sitting down all day 'may accelerate DNA ageing'

Thursday Jan 19 2017

"Women who lead a sedentary lifestyle have faster-ageing cells than those who exercise every day," BBC News reports. This research looked at telomeres – often likened to the caps at the end of shoelaces…

Reports of a 'wrinkle cure' look a little saggy

Monday Jan 9 2017

"Wrinkles could be a thing of the past as scientists find a way to regenerate fatty cells," The Daily Telegraph reports. Research involving mice suggests a protein called bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) could repair skin…

Does discovery of 'severe PMS genes' offer hope of a cure?

Wednesday Jan 4 2017

"Women who suffer from severe mood swings before their period have a different genetic make-up," The Sun reports. New research has found a link between a gene complex called ESC/E(Z) and severe symptoms of premenstrual...

Child 'more likely to use drugs if mum smoked when pregnant'

Thursday Dec 8 2016

"Children are more likely to use cannabis if their mother smoked while pregnant," the Mail Online reports. New research suggests smoking in pregnancy could affect the genes of the child, increasing their risk of substance abuse in later life…

Fussy eating in children may be partially genetic

Friday Oct 14 2016

"Is your child a fussy eater? It could be down to genetics not parenting," the Daily Mirror reports. A study involving twins suggests food fussiness as well as food neophobia – unwillingness to try new foods – may partially be the result of genetics…

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

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