Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Paracetamol 'doesn’t work' for lower back pain

Thursday Jul 24 2014

Paracetamol 'doesn’t work' for lower back pain

“Paracetamol used to treat acute lower back pain is no better than a dummy pill,” BBC News reports. A well-conducted trial casts doubts on the widespread recommendation that paracetamol is an effective treatment for lower back pain…

HIV 'reservoirs' may form earlier than expected

Monday Jul 21 2014

Anti-HIV medication can be effective at limiting the effects of the virus

"Early HIV drugs 'may not stop virus'," BBC News reports. The report is based on a study of HIV treatments in monkeys, and has been linked by the BBC to the emergence of HIV in a four-year-old girl thought to have been cured of the virus as the...

Could new potential treatment mean safer IVF?

Monday Jul 21 2014

Around 2% of babies are now born through IVF

"Dozen babies born using 'safer' IVF treatment," reads today’s headline in The Independent. This headline was based on a new study providing proof of concept that the natural hormone kisspeptin-54 could...

'More adults should be taking statins,' says NICE

Friday Jul 18 2014

'More adults should be taking statins' says NICE

NICE suggests thousands of lives a year could be saved if more adults were offered these cholesterol lowering drugs

Steroid asthma inhalers restrict children’s growth

Thursday Jul 17 2014

Asthma inhalers restrict children’s growth

"Children who use inhalable steroids for asthma grow slower than their peers in the first year of taking the medication," The Guardian reports. The effect found by researchers was small, on average a reduction of half a centimetre per year…

Protein may help control diabetes symptoms

Thursday Jul 17 2014

Protein may help control diabetes symptoms

"Diabetes could be cured 'in single jab'," is the misleading headline in the Daily Express. The news comes from an exciting new mouse study that found promising results for a treatment for type 2 diabetes. But the study did not show that it would cure…

Spoons lead to inaccurate medicine doses for kids

Tuesday Jul 15 2014

Spoon measurements confusing for parents

“Using a spoon to measure medicine for children can lead to potentially dangerous dosing mistakes,” the Daily Mail reports. Parents have long been instructed to provide liquid medication to their children in dosages…

Aggressive breast cancer protein discovered

Monday Jul 7 2014

Scientists make breakthrough in breast cancer research

"A breakthrough by scientists could lead to a new treatment for one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer," the Mail Online reports. Researchers have identified a protein called integrin αvβ6…

Teens could be given whooping cough booster

Wednesday Jun 25 2014

Teens may need whooping cough booster

“One in five children who see a doctor with a persistent cough may have…whooping cough, new research indicates,” The Independent reports. These findings have sparked calls for teenagers to be given a booster dose of the vaccine.

Antidepressant suicide warnings 'backfired'

Thursday Jun 19 2014

Antidepressant suicide warnings 'backfired'

"Antidepressant suicide warnings 'may have backfired','' BBC News reports. Media reports about an alleged risk of suicide in the young taking antidepressants appears to have led to a drop in antidepressant use and a corresponding rise in suicide attempts…

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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