Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Breakthrough in stem cell creation using acid bath

Thursday Jan 30 2014

Stem cell acid bath breakthrough

"Stem cell researchers are heralding a 'major scientific discovery'," BBC News reports. Japanese scientists have created pluripotent stem cells (stem cells than can form all parts of the body) essentially by dipping mouse blood cells in acid…

Could stem cell research spell the end of baldness?

Wednesday Jan 29 2014

Further research into baldness stem cell cure

“Baldness has plagued men for centuries, but the dreaded comb-over may soon be history,” The Times reports, somewhat prematurely. This news comes from laboratory research in which human skin cells were injected into mice…

New strains of the Black Death could emerge

Tuesday Jan 28 2014

New strains of the Black Death could emerge

"Plague that killed millions is able to rise from the dead,” warns The Independent after a new study looked at the genetic history of the Yersinia pestis bacteria. Plague is a devastating disease which causes rapid death…

Genetic effects of shift work examined

Tuesday Jan 21 2014

Genetic effects of shift work examined

“Night work ‘throws body into chaos’,” reports the BBC News website. The news is based on a new study from researchers at the University of Surrey which found that the daily rhythms of genes are disrupted by shifting sleep times…

Gene therapy offers hope for sight loss

Thursday Jan 16 2014

Gene therapy offers hope for blindness

Gene therapy "could be used to treat blindness," BBC News reports. This is just one of the many headlines reporting on the exciting application of gene therapy in visual impairment…

Dad’s diet may impact on offspring’s future health

Wednesday Dec 11 2013

Dad’s diet may impact on offspring’s gene health

“Dad's diet before conception plays crucial role in long-term health of offspring,” reports the Mail Online, recommending that prospective dads “stick to greens and avoid junk…

Some girls may have a 'sweet tooth' gene

Thursday Nov 28 2013

Some girls may have a 'sweet tooth' gene

"Scientists discover a gene which makes certain foods taste better for women," Mail Online reports. The story is based on a study of 150 four-year-olds that looked at whether there was an association between a specific gene variant…

'Fat gene' could make you 'eat more and move less'

Friday Nov 22 2013

Fat gene could make you 'eat more, move less'

"Do YOU have the fat gene?" the Mail Online asks, saying that, "90% of obese people could have mutation that means they're programmed to eat more and move less". Its report is based on…

Study 'casts doubt' on the need for a Y chromosome

Friday Nov 22 2013

Study used mice to test theory of reproduction without the y chromosome

“Y chromosome: why men contribute so little,” is the headline on BBC News, reporting that scientists may be able to ‘do away’ with the Y chromosome completely. The Y chromosome is what makes men, well, men…

Obesity may be linked with slow metabolism for some

Friday Oct 25 2013

Some people may actually have a slow metabolism

BBC News tells us that the “slow metabolism 'obesity excuse' [is] true”. The news site says that a mutation has been found that slows metabolism and causes people to become severely obese by early childhood...

What is Behind the Headlines?

What is Behind the Headlines?

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