Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Menopausal symptoms 'last longer' than previously thought

Wednesday Feb 18 2015

Menopausal symptoms 'last longer' than previously thought

"Menopause lasts 'up to 14 years'," the Daily Mail reports, with The Daily Telegraph reporting a similar figure – but according to The Guardian, it's "12 years"…

Media heralds the discovery of 'infidelity gene'

Monday Feb 16 2015

Researchers say they have found the 'infidelity gene' in women

"Women are more likely to cheat on their partner if they carry the ‘infidelity gene'," the Mail Online reports. The "infidelity gene", a variant of the AVPR1A gene, may be associated with female sexual infidelity, researchers have found…

Super-strength 'skunk' cannabis linked to psychosis

Monday Feb 16 2015

Super-strength 'skunk' cannabis linked to psychosis

" 'Skunk-like cannabis' increases risk of psychosis, study suggests," BBC News reports after a new study found high-potency strains of "skunk" cannabis – infamous for both its strength and its pungent smell – could be linked to one in four cases of…

When Minnie met Mickey: is rodent romance all in the mind?

Friday Feb 13 2015

Hormones 'play a role' in female sexual arousal

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the Mail Online thoughtfully cushions its readers against possible rejection ahead of time: “You may have lit the candles, opened the wine and dimmed the lights. But, inexplicably, your partner still…

Could a 30-minute 'power nap' make up for a bad night's sleep?

Thursday Feb 12 2015

A 30-minute 'power nap' could make up for a bad night's sleep

"Indulging in a power nap can repair the damage caused by a lack of sleep," the Daily Mail reports. But the study that prompted the headline is very small – involving just 11 healthy young men…

Long-term smoking 'may cause' brain shrinkage

Thursday Feb 12 2015

Long-term smoking 'may cause' brain damage

“Smokers have thinner brain cortex and could have impaired thinking,” The Independent reports. MRI scans of long-term smokers show signs that the cerebral cortex – the grey matter of the brain – which plays a key role in…

Unemployment and job insecurity linked to increased risk of suicide

Wednesday Feb 11 2015

Unemployment and job insecurity linked to increased risk of suicide

“Unemployment causes 45,000 suicides a year worldwide,” The Guardian reports. The story comes from a study that looked at the association between suicide rates and unemployment in 63 countries across the world…

1980s fat guidelines 'lacked evidence,' study argues

Tuesday Feb 10 2015

1980s fat guidelines 'lacked evidence,' study argues

"Butter isn't bad for you after all: Major study says 80s advice on dairy fats was flawed," is the headline on the front of the Daily Mail as a new study argues dietary fat guidelines introduced in the 1980s lacked a rigorous evidence base…

Finger length 'not a pointer' for future sexual behaviour

Friday Feb 6 2015

Finger length 'not a pointer' for future sexual behaviour

"How to work out if your partner is cheating on you? Check their fingers," the Daily Mirror advises. The news comes from research founded on the theory that humans are believed to display two types of mating pattern…

'Facebook envy' associated with symptoms of depression

Thursday Feb 5 2015

'Facebook envy' associated with symptoms of depression

"Facebook can cause depression in people who compare themselves with others," The Independent reports. A new study has examined the relationships between Facebook use, feelings of envy, and feelings of…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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