Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

Does going on holiday help boost the immune system?

Monday Oct 3 2016

"Prescribing holidays 'could help fight infections'," BBC News reports, while the Mail Online claims holidays can "turbo-boost" the immune system. But the news isn't quite as conclusive as it sounds…

People with 'obesity gene' can still lose weight

Wednesday Sep 21 2016

"No excuses not to slim as 'fat gene' found not to affect ability to lose weight," reports The Daily Telegraph. It is one of several news outlets to report on research suggesting people who put on weight easily because of a genetic variant…

Could fertility breakthrough lead to babies with no mothers?

Thursday Sep 15 2016

"Fertility breakthrough means babies could be conceived from skin cells – so men can have babies with each other," is the excitable headline in the Daily Mirror. But the research in the news is at an early stage – and was in mice…

Targeting 'addiction switch' may help combat alcohol addiction

Wednesday Aug 31 2016

"Alcoholics are missing 'vital chemical in their brain' that helps control addiction," the Daily Express reports. Research carried out on rats suggests that low levels of the PRDM2 enzyme could trigger self-destructive addictive behaviour…

Gene scanning 'could improve screening for oesophageal cancer'

Monday Aug 22 2016

"Simple test can now reveal which heartburn patients are at risk of oesophageal cancer," is the hopeful headline in the Daily Mail, reporting on a new study from researchers at Queen Mary University of London…

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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