Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Common antibiotic linked to 'tiny' rise in heart deaths

Wednesday Aug 20 2014

Antibiotics may help ease chronic back pain

An antibiotic given to millions of people in the UK to treat chest infections has been linked to an increased risk of heart death, report The Daily Telegraph and The Independent...

Bone marrow drug could treat alopecia

Monday Aug 18 2014

Bone marrow drug could treat alopecia

"Alopecia sufferers given new treatment hope with repurposed drug," The Guardian reports. A drug used to treat bone marrow cancer, ruxolitinib, reversed hair loss in three patients…

Anti-obesity drugs 'may still work in middle-age'

Wednesday Aug 13 2014

Middle-age spread is best dealt with by eating less and getting more exercise

“Drug to halt the dreaded spread of middle age,” reports The Daily Telegraph, with similar headlines on the Daily Express and Daily Mail websites. However, these claims are rather premature given the research they’re based on anti-obesity drugs...

Daily aspirin 'reduces cancer risk', study finds

Wednesday Aug 6 2014

Daily aspirin 'reduces bowel and stomach cancer risk,' study says

Taking aspirin every day could cut your risk of developing cancer, report BBC News and The Daily Telegraph among other news outlets, after the publication of a large-scale review of the evidence...

Steep rise in antibiotic use for coughs and colds

Tuesday Aug 5 2014

Steep rise in antibiotic use for coughs and colds

The number of patients given antibiotics for coughs and colds has soared 40% despite warnings, a study finds.

Could HIV drugs help treat multiple sclerosis?

Tuesday Aug 5 2014

HIV drugs may be help treat MS

"Could MS patients be treated with HIV drugs?" ask the Mail Online and The Independent after a new study discovered people with HIV were almost two-thirds less likely (62%) to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) than those who did not have the virus...

Combined Pill may raise breast cancer risk

Friday Aug 1 2014

Contraceptive pills may double breast cancer risk

"Some contraceptive pills double risk of breast cancer," The Daily Telegraph reports, as a new US study found an increased risk of 50% with use of the combined oral contraceptive pill, commonly called "the pill"…

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...

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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