Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Life expectancy for people with HIV now 'near normal'

Thursday May 11 2017

"Young people on the latest HIV drugs now have near-normal life expectancy because of improvements in treatments," BBC News reports. The report says advances in antiretroviral drug treatments reduce the risks of serious complications…

Ibuprofen linked to increased risk of heart attacks

Wednesday May 10 2017

"Taking painkillers for just one week 'raises the risk of a heart attack'," the Daily Mail reports. The report is based on a new analysis that found a link between anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen and heart attack risk…

Blood test may lead to targeted therapy for prostate cancer

Friday May 5 2017

"A blood test has been developed that could help target treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer," BBC News reports. The test could help identify men unlikely to respond to drugs such as enzalutamide…

Statins side effects 'have been overstated', says study

Wednesday May 3 2017

"Side effects from statins 'really are all in the mind'," The Times reports. A new study found people taking statins were more likely to report side effects, such as muscle aches, but only if they knew they were taking the drug...

Two older drugs could be 'repurposed' to fight dementia

Thursday Apr 20 2017

"Depression and cancer drugs offer hope for dementia sufferers," Sky News reports. The headline is prompted by a study looking at the effect of two drugs – one used to treat depression and another being trialled for cancer treatment...

Frog slime could protect us against future flu epidemic

Wednesday Apr 19 2017

"'Potent' new molecule in frog slime may give us new way to beat flu epidemics, say boffins," The Sun reports. Researchers looked at secretions from the skin of a south Indian frog called Hydrophylax bahuvistara…

Antibiotic use linked to 'pre-cancerous' bowel changes

Thursday Apr 6 2017

"Taking antibiotics for more than two weeks increases your risk of bowel cancer by 73 per cent," reports the Daily Mail. However, the study it reports on did not look at rates of bowel cancer. What it did find is an increased risk of bowel polyps…

Morning after pill 'less reliable' for women over 11 stone

Monday Apr 3 2017

"Women who take morning-after pill could still fall pregnant if they weigh more than 11 stone," the Daily Mirror warns. New guidelines on emergency contraception discuss recent evidence that body mass index (BMI) and overall…

Modified protein promotes hair growth and fights ageing in mice

Friday Mar 24 2017

"Scientists create a chemical that can restore hair and give youthful energy," the Daily Mail reports; but these effects have only been achieved in mice. A modified protein called FOXO4-DRI has been successfully used to remove "broken ageing" cells…

The pill provides 'lifelong protection against some cancers'

Wednesday Mar 22 2017

"The pill can protect women from cancer for 30 years," is the front page headline in the Daily Mirror. The paper reports on a landmark study that followed more than 46,000 women in the UK for up to 44 years…

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