Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'Male hormones' in womb linked to autism

Wednesday Jun 4 2014

'Male hormones' in womb linked to autism

"Boys who develop autism may be exposed to higher levels of hormones…in the womb," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers found a link between elevated hormones in amniotic fluid and autism…

Learning second language 'slows brain ageing'

Tuesday Jun 3 2014

Learning second language 'slows brain ageing'

"Learning a second language can have a positive effect on the brain," BBC News reports after a Scottish study found that participants who spoke two or more languages tended to perform better in intelligence tests…

Watching porn associated with male brain shrinkage

Friday May 30 2014

Porn viewing associated with male brain shrinkage

“Viewing porn shrinks the brain,” reports the Daily Mail. In a small study, MRI scans found that men who watched the most pornography had less grey matter – complex brain tissue – compared to men who watched the least…

Free radicals may actually be good for us

Tuesday May 27 2014

Antioxidants may actually accelerate ageing process

“Antioxidant…supplements may make our bodies age faster,” the Mail Online reports. New research suggests that oxygen containing free radicals – the molecules that antioxidants are designed to target – may actually help cells live longer…

Could an MS drug 'erase' traumatic memories?

Tuesday May 27 2014

MS drug 'may help erase traumatic memory'

"A drug could be re-purposed to erase painful memories from people who have suffered trauma and pain," The Independent reports. The news comes from a study involving mice that measured their response to a series of electric shocks…

Could a compound found in cannabis treat epilepsy?

Friday May 23 2014

Researchers looked at whether a cannabis compound prevents seizures

"Cannabis could be used to help treat epilepsy," the Mail Online reports. A leading epilepsy medical journal has published a critical review summarising the evidence of the benefits of cannabis – specifically the compound cannabidiols…

Vaccines not linked with autism, study finds

Tuesday May 20 2014

Childhood vaccines 'not associated with autism'

"There is no evidence whatsoever linking the development of autism to childhood vaccines," The Guardian reports. A new study involving more than a million children found no evidence of a link between childhood vaccines and autism…

Early menopause linked to mental decline

Thursday May 8 2014

Early menopause linked to mental decline

“Premature menopause is linked with poor thinking and reaction times,” The Daily Telegraph reports. A large French study found that women who had their menopause before the age of 40 had memory problems and delayed reaction times.

Could young blood 'slow' ageing?

Tuesday May 6 2014

Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed bathed in virgins' blood in the search for eternal youth

“Vampire treatment with young blood reverses ageing process,” The Independent reports. But before you get too excited, we should clarify that the headlines relate to a study on mice.

Apathy unproven as early warning sign of dementia

Thursday Apr 17 2014

Apathy may be early warning sign of dementia

“Elderly who lose interest in pastimes could be at risk of Alzheimer's,” reports The Daily Telegraph, with other papers reporting similar headlines.

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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