Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Could a smart insulin patch mean no more diabetic injections?

Tuesday Jun 23 2015

Could a smart insulin patch lead to the end of diabetic injections?

"A 'smart' insulin patch could replace painful injections to help millions of people with diabetes keep their blood sugar levels in check," the Daily Mirror reports; though the technology has only been tested on mice...

A case report about skinny jeans sparks media frenzy

Tuesday Jun 23 2015

A case report about skinny jeans sparks media frenzy

"Russell Brand and Kate Moss take note – skinny jeans are bad for your health," The Guardian reports. A new case report has told the story of a woman who had to be hospitalised due to nerve damage caused by prolonged squatting in skinny jeans…

Being a 'couch potato' linked to increased anxiety risk

Monday Jun 22 2015

Being a 'couch potato' linked to increased anxiety risk

"Being a couch potato is bad for your mental health," the Mail Online reports. However, the evidence gathered by a new review is not as clear-cut as the headline would lead you to believe…

Drinking plenty of red wine won’t help you lose weight

Monday Jun 22 2015

Drinking plenty of red wine won’t help you lose weight

Sorry to be party poopers but The Daily Telegraph’s headline "How to lose weight - drink plenty of red wine," is simply nonsense. The study it reports on did not involve red wine and was carried out on mice, not humans…

Meningitis B vaccine 'available from September'

Monday Jun 22 2015

Meningitis B vaccine 'available from September'

"All newborn babies in England and Scotland are to be offered a vaccine to combat meningitis B from September," BBC News reports. This will be the world’s first publicly funded vaccination programme for the potentially fatal disease…

Weighing yourself every day may help with weight loss

Friday Jun 19 2015

Weighing yourself everyday may help with weight loss

"Stepping on the scales every day could be the key to weight loss, a study has found," the Mail Online reports. This report was based on a US study which suggested daily weighing can lead to a small, though sustainable, loss in weight...

New chlamydia vaccine shows promise after being tested on mice

Friday Jun 19 2015

New chlamydia vaccine shows promise after being tested in mice

“Researchers in the United States say they have developed a vaccine that can protect against chlamydia,” The Independent reports. Initial results in mice have shown promise…

Too soon to say if breastfeeding problems could be genetic

Thursday Jun 18 2015

Too soon to say if breastfeeding problems could be genetic

"Is your inability to breastfeed written in your genes?" the Mail Online asks. The question is prompted by animal research that discovered that a genetic mutation in a protein called ZnT2 that may restrict milk production after pregnancy…

Smoking causes half of all deaths in 12 different cancers

Thursday Jun 18 2015

Smoking causes half of all deaths in 12 different cancers

"Roughly half of deaths from 12 smoking-related cancers may be linked directly to cigarette use, a US study estimates," the Mail Online reports. Due to similar smoking rates, it is likely that a similar pattern exists in the UK…

Knee surgery 'waste of time', researchers argue

Wednesday Jun 17 2015

Knee surgery 'waste of time' researchers argue

"Knee surgery is 'pointless and potentially harmful' for thousands of patients," the Daily Mirror reports. That’s the conclusion of a study looking at the effects of arthroscopic (keyhole) knee surgery in terms of pain relief and physical function…

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...