Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Mildly cold weather 'more deadly' than heatwaves or very cold snaps

Thursday May 21 2015

Mild cold 'more deadly' than heatwaves or very cold snaps

"Mildly cold, drizzly days far deadlier than extreme temperatures," The Independent reports. An international study looking at weather-related deaths estimated that moderate cold killed far more people than extremely hot or cold temperatures…

Links between hay fever, asthma and prostate cancer inconclusive

Wednesday May 20 2015

Hay fever ups prostate cancer risk but asthma boosts survival rates

"Men with hay fever are more likely to have prostate cancer – but those with asthma are more likely to survive it," the Daily Mirror reports. Those were the puzzling and largely inconclusive findings of a new study looking at these three conditions...

Stem cells could provide a treatment for a 'broken heart'

Tuesday May 19 2015

Stem cells could provide a treatment for a 'broken heart'

"'Heartbreak' stem cells could repair damage of heart attack," The Daily Telegraph reports. Research in mice suggests that stem cells could repair the damage to muscles that occur during a heart attack and relieve symptoms of heart failure…

Drug combination for cystic fibrosis looks promising

Monday May 18 2015

Drug combination for cystic fibrosis looks promising

"A 'groundbreaking' new therapy for cystic fibrosis could hugely improve patients' quality of life," The Daily Telegraph reports after a combination of two drugs – lumacaftor and ivacaftor – was found to improve lung function…

Could testing grip strength predict heart disease risk?

Thursday May 14 2015

Could testing grip strength help predict heart disease risk?

"Poor grip can signal chances of major illness or premature death," the Mail Online reports. An international study has provided evidence that assessing grip strength could help identify people who were at higher risk of cardiovascular events…

Study finds seasons may affect immune system activity

Wednesday May 13 2015

Seasons may affect inflammation levels, increasing winter deaths

"Winter immune boost may actually cause deaths," The Guardian reports. A new gene study suggests there may be an increase in inflammation levels during winter, which can protect against infection but could also make...

Media hypes molecular blood pressure regulation discovery

Friday May 8 2015

Blood pressure monitor: high reading can indicate a circulatory problem

The Mail Online hails a "breakthrough in treating high blood pressure", saying scientists have discovered how the body regulates it, which could "slash risk of heart attacks and stroke"...

Probiotic yoghurts 'may help' hay fever

Thursday May 7 2015

Probiotic yoghurts may help with hay fever

New research found initial, but not definitive, evidence that probiotics may offer some relief from this common allergic condition for some people...

Heart failure drug digoxin linked to premature death

Tuesday May 5 2015

Heart failure drug digoxin linked to premature death

"A heart drug taken by 250,000 Britons can actually hasten death, a major study has found," the Mail Online warns today. An analysis of previous research on digoxin, used to treat heart failure, suggests it can raise the risk of premature death…

New asthma treatment within five years, researchers hope

Thursday Apr 23 2015

Asthma cure 'within five years' claims after drug breakthrough

"Asthma cure could be in reach," The Independent reports. Researchers have discovered that protein molecules called calcium-sensing receptors play a pivotal role in asthma. Drugs known to block these proteins already exist...

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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