Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Breast cancer gene and smoking is a 'lethal mix'

Monday Jun 2 2014

Breast cancer gene and smoking is a 'lethal mix'

"Smoking and the breast cancer risk gene BRCA2 combine to 'enormously' increase the chance of developing lung cancer," BBC News reports. The BRCA2 gene, which is known to increase breast cancer risk, appears to also up the risk of lung cancer…

Lasers used to regenerate damaged teeth

Thursday May 29 2014

Lasers used to regenerate damaged teeth

"Lasers have been used to regenerate parts of damaged teeth," BBC News reports. The hope is that laser therapy could one day replace lengthy and expensive dental operations such as root canal treatments…

FTO 'fat gene' may make people more impulsive

Thursday May 29 2014

FTO 'fat gene' may make people more impulsive

"Carriers of the FTO gene are more likely to succumb to impulsive hunger pangs and prefer high-calorie foods," the Mail Online reports. A study of carriers of a variant of the FTO gene found reduced activity in…

Four rare diseases added to newborn screening

Monday May 12 2014

Newborn screening for four diseases set to be launched

"Newborn babies to be tested for rare diseases," reports BBC News online. The news is based on an announcement by the UK's National Screening Committee (NSC)…

Can mental trauma be passed on through sperm?

Thursday Apr 24 2014

Mental trauma passed 'through sperm'

"Traumatic experiences can be inherited, as major shocks alter how cells in the body work," The Daily Telegraph reports. But before you start blaming mum and dad for your problems, the research it reports on only involved mice…

Could a DNA test predict obesity risk in children?

Thursday Mar 27 2014

DNA test could assess obesity risk in children

"A DNA blood test can predict obesity levels in children as they grow up, scientists claim," the Metro reports. The test, which is based on measuring "switches" in DNA, may help identify children who would benefit from early intervention…

Should people with 'fat genes' avoid fried food?

Wednesday Mar 19 2014

Got fat genes? Avoid fried food, study advises

"Eating fried food is more likely to make you fat if you have 'obesity genes'," The Independent reports after a study in the BMJ suggested that those with a genetic predisposition towards obesity should avoid fried food…

Reliability of stem cell 'breakthrough' questioned

Monday Mar 17 2014

Reliability of stem cell 'breakthrough' questioned

"Stem cell 'breakthrough data inappropriately handled'," BBC News reports. In January, scientists in Japan described how they had used acid baths to simply and cheaply generate...

Do short people also have smaller IQs?

Tuesday Mar 4 2014

Do short people also have smaller IQs?

“They’re already called ‘vertically challenged’ – but are short people intellectually challenged too?” is the headline in the Mail Online. The website reports on a gene study which found taller people were more likely…

Draft regulations on 'three parent' IVF published

Friday Feb 28 2014

Consultation launched on 'three-parent' IVF

'Three-person baby details announced' BBC News reports. Draft regulation, into so-called 'three parent IVF', designed to tackle a range of genetic conditions known as mitochondrial diseases, have been published by the Department of Health…

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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