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Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Can the so-called 'male menopause' be treated with HRT?

Thursday Jul 30 2015

Can the so-called 'male menopause' be treated with HRT?

"New research suggests that testosterone deficiency in older men is much more prevalent than current screening methods suggest, and that more men would benefit from hormone treatment," The Daily Telegraph reports…

Some over-the-counter drugs may be linked to falls in older men

Wednesday Jul 29 2015

Some over-the-counter drugs linked to falls in older men

"Popular over-the-counter drugs for hay fever and insomnia may increase the risk of a serious fall among older men," the Daily Mail reports after a study suggested anticholinergic drugs, which can cause side effects such…

The placebo effect can still work, even if people know it's a placebo

Monday Jul 27 2015

The placebo effect can still work, even if people know it's a placebo

"The placebo effect is real – even if you know the treatment you've been given has no medical value, research has concluded," the Mail Online reports. The study in question aimed to further understand how placebos – inactive or dummy treatments – work…

Antidepressant use in menopause linked to broken bones

Friday Jun 26 2015

Antidepressant use in menopause linked to broken bones

"Taking antidepressants like Prozac to counter mood changes in menopause 'raises risk of broken bones'," the Daily Mail reports. A new study suggests that using SSRIs during the menopause may significantly increase the risk of bone fracture…

Mushroom supplement could be one way to tackle obesity

Wednesday Jun 24 2015

Mushroom extract could be one way to tackle obesity

"A mushroom used for centuries in Chinese medicine reduces weight gain in animals," BBC News reports. A supplement from the Ganoderma lucidum mushroom reduced weight gain by altering bacteria inside the digestive system of mice…

New chlamydia vaccine shows promise after being tested on mice

Friday Jun 19 2015

New chlamydia vaccine shows promise after being tested in mice

“Researchers in the United States say they have developed a vaccine that can protect against chlamydia,” The Independent reports. Initial results in mice have shown promise…

Could avocados hold the key to treating leukaemia?

Wednesday Jun 17 2015

Could avocados hold the key to treating leukaemia?

"Avocados could hold the key to helping beat rare form of leukaemia," The Independent reports. A substance in the fruit, avocatin B, was found in lab studies to effectively target acute myeloid leukaemia, a rare and aggressive blood cancer…

Four out of ten Brits may naturally show fewer flu symptoms

Tuesday Jun 16 2015

Four out of ten Brits may have 'natural flu immunity'

"Four in 10 Britons immune to flu symptoms, leading to hopes of a new vaccine," The Independent reports. A survey of around 1,400 people found 43% of them had a type of immune cell – T cells – that helps protect against infection…

Immunotherapy drug combo could combat melanoma

Monday Jun 1 2015

Immunotherapy drug combo could combat melanoma

"New era in the war on cancer," is the over-hyped headline on the front of the Daily Mail. The new era refers to a trial looking at whether a combination of immunotherapy drugs could help with advanced melanoma skin cancer…

Modified herpes virus 'could combat skin cancer'

Wednesday May 27 2015

Modified herpes virus 'could combat skin cancer'

"Patients with aggressive skin cancer have been treated successfully using a drug based on the herpes virus," The Guardian reports. A new study suggests a novel form of immunotherapy could be effective for treating some cases of advanced skin cancer...

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