Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Text alerts 'help prompt people to take their pills'

Monday Dec 8 2014

Text alerts 'help prompt people to take their pills'

"A text messaging service could help people remember to take the medicines they have been prescribed," BBC News reports after a small trial scheme in London helped increase drug adherence in people with cardiovascular disease…

Drug found to help repair spinal cord injuries

Thursday Dec 4 2014

New drug found to help repair spine injuries

"A drug that can encourage nerves in the spinal cord to grow and repair injuries has been developed by US scientists," BBC News reports. The drug, intracellular sigma peptide, helped restore varying degrees of nerve functions in previously disabled rats…

Can a pill cure binge drinking and dementia?

Monday Dec 1 2014

Binge drinking and dementia drug cure claims

"'Wonder' drug could cure binge drinking, Alzheimer's and dementia," the Mail Online reports. But before you raise a glass or two, these are premature claims based on research in rats that has not yet been proven, or even tested, in people…

HIV drug may slow the spread of prostate cancer

Monday Dec 1 2014

It is hoped that the drug can help prevent prostate cancer spreading into the bones

“A drug used to treat HIV infection can slow the spread of prostate cancer, research has shown,” The Independent reports. The news centres on the drug maraviroc (Celsentri), which researchers have found may slow the spread of prostate cancer…

Ebola vaccine shows promise in human trials

Thursday Nov 27 2014

Ebola vaccine shows promise in human trials

“Ebola vaccine trial results promising, says manufacturer,” The Guardian reports. Initial results from a trial involving 20 healthy adults found that the vaccine seems to be safe…

'Good ways to pop a pill'

Friday Nov 14 2014

Swallowing a pill is never fun, but for some it's really difficult

"Just a spoonful of water helps the medicine go down: Scientists discover the best way to swallow tablets," explains the Mail Online today. In fact, scientists haven't necessarily discovered the "best"...

Do people who take weight loss pills eat unhealthily?

Friday Nov 14 2014

Slimming pills: do they really make you think you can eat more cookies?

"Are slimming pills fuelling the obesity epidemic?" asks the Mail Online, reporting on research that suggests dieters "mistakenly believe they can eat whatever they want" after taking weight-loss drugs...

'Smart drug' modafinil won't make you brainier

Thursday Nov 13 2014

Studying hard is still the best way to enhance exam performance

"Smart drug 'may help improve creative problem solving'," is the headline in The Daily Telegraph. The media reports have been prompted by a new study on the effects of modafinil...

Fruit chemical may prevent organ damage

Thursday Nov 6 2014

Injections of fruit chemical repairs organ damage

"Could fruit help heart attack patients? Injection of chemical helps reduce damage to vital organs and boosts survival," reports the Daily Mail – "at least in rodents," it should have added…

'Elite controllers' may provide clues for HIV cure

Wednesday Nov 5 2014

'Elite controllers' may provide clues for HIV cure

"Scientists have uncovered the genetic mechanism which appeared to have led two HIV-infected men to experience a 'spontaneous cure'," the Mail Online reports. The idea is to modify the HIV virus, making it harmless, rather than trying to kill it…

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...

Superfoods: the evidence

We examine the evidence behind the health claims of the most popular superfoods

Clinical trials and medical research

Clinical trials explained, including how to take part in one and why medical research is important

Atlas of risk

NHS Atlas of Risk

Compare cause of death and health risks based on age, sex and where you live

Strength and Flex

Download our Strength and flexibility podcast series and get a free personal trainer