Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Gene editing technique could prevent inherited diseases

Friday Apr 24 2015

Gene editing technique could prevent inherited diseases

"Researchers in the US have raised hopes for a simple genetic therapy that could prevent devastating diseases being passed on from mothers to their children," The Guardian reports…

Air pollution linked to silent strokes

Friday Apr 24 2015

Air pollution linked to shrunken brains and silent strokes

"Adults who live in towns and cities suffer ageing of the brain and increased risk of dementia and [silent] strokes because of air pollution," The Daily Telegraph reports. A "silent stroke" (technically known as a covert brain infarct…

New asthma treatment within five years, researchers hope

Thursday Apr 23 2015

Asthma cure 'within five years' claims after drug breakthrough

"Asthma cure could be in reach," The Independent reports. Researchers have discovered that protein molecules called calcium-sensing receptors play a pivotal role in asthma. Drugs known to block these proteins already exist...

A magnet for mosquitoes? Blame your genes

Thursday Apr 23 2015

A magnet for mosquitoes? Could be your genes’ fault

"Mosquitoes 'lured by body odour genes','' BBC News reports. Researchers tested a series of non-identical and identical twins, and found that identical twins had similar levels of attractiveness to mosquitoes…

Athlete’s foot cream could also treat multiple sclerosis

Wednesday Apr 22 2015

Athlete’s foot cream could also treat multiple sclerosis

"Two common drugs – one used for treating athlete's foot and another for alleviating eczema – may be useful therapies for multiple sclerosis," BBC News reports. The drugs have shown promise in lab and animal studies…

Coffee could make breast cancer drug tamoxifen more effective

Wednesday Apr 22 2015

Coffee could make breast cancer drug tamoxifen more effective

"A cancer-killing cocktail of the hormone drug tamoxifen and two coffees every day was found to reduce the risk of [breast cancer] tumours returning," the Mail Online reports. The same study also found evidence that caffeine slowed the cancer's growth…

Mindfulness 'as good as drugs for preventing depression relapse'

Tuesday Apr 21 2015

Mindfulness 'as good as drugs for preventing depression relapse'

"Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may be as good as pills at stopping people relapsing after recovering from major bouts of depression," The Guardian reports…

Mistreatment of extreme morning sickness 'leading to abortions'

Tuesday Apr 21 2015

Mistreatment of extreme morning sickness 'leading to abortions'

"Extreme morning sickness causes 1k abortions a year, study finds," The Daily Telegraph reports. The report states that poor treatment of some cases of extreme morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) is leading some women to terminate their pregnancy…

Why you should drink (water) before you drive

Monday Apr 20 2015

Why you should drink before you drive (water, that is)

"Not drinking enough water has same effect as drink driving," The Daily Telegraph reports. A small study found participants made more mistakes on a driving simulator task when they were mildly dehydrated than when they had plenty of fluids…

There are six different types of obesity, study argues

Monday Apr 20 2015

There are six different types of obesity, study argues

"Researchers have identified six 'types' of obese person," The Independent reports. It's argued that each type would benefit from a targeted treatment programme for obesity, rather than a "one-size-fits-all" approach…

Miracle cure or scam?

Will an online miracle cure really provide the answer to your health problem?

Health anxiety (hypochondria)

Most of us worry about our health from time to time. But for some people, this worry never goes away and becomes a problem in itself

Stem cell research in the news

Stem cells are often portrayed in the media as a miracle cure for many serious conditions and disabilities. We analyse the facts behind these stories

Miracle Foods: myths and the media

Can a curry save your life? Read our report on the supposed health benefits of common foods

Video: the placebo effect

Watch Ben Goldacre explain what the placebo effect is and describes its role in medical research and in the pharmaceutical industry

How to read health news

How to read health news

Fact or fiction? Killer or cure? We show you how to look Behind the Headlines.

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...