Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Stem cells used to repair children's eyes after cataracts

Thursday Mar 10 2016

"Children with cataracts regain sight after radical stem cell treatment," The Guardian reports. The new operation, carried out on 12 children under two years old in China, was to treat childhood cataracts…

Early exposure to peanuts 'cuts allergy risk in children'

Monday Mar 7 2016

"The effects of eating peanut products as a baby to avoid the risk of allergy have been backed up by new research," BBC News reports. A new study suggests eating peanut snacks in the first year of life reduces the risk of a nut allergy in children…

Half of all childhood asthma cases are 'overdiagnosed'

Friday Feb 26 2016

"Half a million children who have been diagnosed with asthma may not actually have the condition," The Daily Telegraph reports. This is the finding of a Dutch study…

'Vaginal seeding' may put newborns at risk of infection

Wednesday Feb 24 2016

"'Vaginal seeding' of babies born by C-section could pose infection risk," The Guardian reports. The practice of exposing babies born by caesarean section to their mother's vaginal fluid in an effort to boost their immunity…

Daily diet of almonds is no magic solution for weight loss

Wednesday Feb 24 2016

"Desperate to lose weight?" asks the Mail Online. "Eat almonds! Handful a day 'wards off hunger and replaces empty calories from junk food'," it says, entirely without any justification, as the study it reports on didn't look at weight…

Mobile phone use 'linked to poor sperm quality'

Monday Feb 22 2016

"Men who talk on their mobile phones for an hour a day 'are twice as likely to have low sperm quality'," the Daily Mail reports. Is the use of smartphones damaging men's sperm? The quick answer, based on the results of this study, is we don't know...

Evidence of link between Zika virus and birth defect 'boosted'

Thursday Feb 18 2016

"Brazilian study boosts theory that Zika causes birth defect," The Guardian reports. Researchers have detected the virus in amniotic fluid surrounding two unborn babies known to have abnormally small heads (microcephaly)…

Paracetamol use in pregnancy and infancy linked to child asthma

Wednesday Feb 10 2016

"Babies given paracetamol are nearly a third more likely to develop asthma," the Mail Online reports. The study the news is based on also found a link between maternal use of the painkiller in pregnancy, and childhood asthma…

UK regulators give go-ahead for 'embryo editing'

Tuesday Feb 2 2016

"UK scientists have been given the go-ahead by the fertility regulator to genetically modify human embryos," BBC News reports. The UK body that regulates research into embryos…

Playground equipment contains toxic levels of lead paint

Monday Jan 25 2016

"Paint on playground equipment has been found to contain high amounts of the toxin lead – up to 40 times recommended levels," BBC News reports. Researchers sampled levels at 26 playgrounds in the south of England…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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