Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Does deadly diet drug DNP defeat diabetes?

Friday Feb 27 2015

Banned weight-loss drug DNP could treat diabetes

"A chemical [DNP] which caused munitions factory workers to lose weight inexplicably in the First World War could cure diabetes," The Daily Telegraph reports. The banned weight loss drug looked effective and safe when given in a modified form to rats…

'Game changer' HIV drug cuts infection risk by 86%

Wednesday Feb 25 2015

'Game changer' HIV drug cuts infection risk by 87%

"Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%," The Independent reports. The drug, Truvada, has proved very successful in a "real-world" trial…

New HPV vaccine may protect against 90% of cervical cancers

Friday Feb 20 2015

New HPV vaccine may protect against 90% of cervical cancers

"New HPV vaccine stops 90% of cervical cancers," the Mail Online reports. The vaccine, which protects against nine common strains of the cancer-causing human papilloma virus (HPV), has proved both safe and effective in a study involving 14,000 women…

Nanoparticles used to treat damaged arteries

Thursday Feb 19 2015

'Nano drones' used to repair damaged arteries

"New trials suggest microscopic stealth drones could be used to seek and repair damaged arteries," The Daily Telegraph, somewhat overexcitedly, reports. A study in mice has found promising results for a targeted treatment…

HRT increases ovarian cancer risk by small amount

Friday Feb 13 2015

HRT increases ovarian cancer risk by small amount

"Hormone replacement therapy increases ovarian cancer risk," BBC News reports. An analysis of previous data, published in The Lancet, found a statistically significant increase, though the increase in risk for individual women is very small…

Media dementia scare over hay fever and sleep drugs

Tuesday Jan 27 2015

Not all antihistamines are the same

"Hay fever tablets raise risk of Alzheimer's," is the main front page news in the Daily Mirror. The Guardian mentions popular brand names such as Nytol, Benadryl, Ditropan and Piriton among the pills studied...

People with autism have 'unique' brain patterns

Monday Jan 26 2015

Autism affects social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour

"The brains of people diagnosed with autism are 'uniquely synchronised'," the Mail Online reports. Researchers used brain scans to study the brain activity of people with autism and found a distinctly unique pattern of connectivity…

Statin use may be widening health inequalities in England

Friday Jan 23 2015

Use of statins may be widening health inequalities

'Mass prescription of statins ‘will widen social inequalities’' The Independent report. A UK analysis of heart disease deaths from 2000 to 2007 found that statins were far more effective for the richest 20% of the population compared to the poorest 20%...

Could brain protein help people 'sleep off' the flu?

Tuesday Jan 13 2015

Brain protein may help people 'sleep off' the flu

"Scientists…believe that a nasal spray could be produced which boosts a protein so sufferers could sleep off the flu," The Daily Telegraph reports. As yet, the research has been confined to assessing the role of one protein in mice...

Blood test may tell you the best way to quit smoking

Monday Jan 12 2015

Blood test may tell you the best way to quit smoking

"A blood test could help people choose a stop-smoking strategy that would give them the best chance of quitting," BBC News reports. The test measures how quickly an individual breaks down nicotine inside their body…

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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