Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Vegetative patients show awareness during scans

Friday Oct 17 2014

MRI scans detected signs of meaningful brain activity

"Vegetative patients may be more conscious of the world than we think," The Independent reports. Electrodes have detected what has been described as "well-preserved" networks of brain activity in patients in a vegetative state…

Exercise data signs could cut sugary drink intake

Friday Oct 17 2014

Exercise data signs help cut sugary drink intake

"Signs warning shoppers how much exercise they need to do to burn off calories in sugary drinks can encourage healthier choices," BBC News reports. Signs in shops in an area of Baltimore led to a change in shopping habits amongst teenagers…

Crash diets 'work best' claim misguided

Thursday Oct 16 2014

Crash diets 'can work' claim

“Crash diets DO work, claim experts,” the Mail Online reports. It reports on an Australian study involving 200 obese adults who were randomly assigned to either a 12-week rapid weight loss programme on a very low-calorie diet…

New way to distinguish between ovarian tumours

Thursday Oct 16 2014

New test to distinguish between ovarian tumours

"A new test can help doctors identify ovarian cancer more accurately and cut down on instances of unnecessary surgery," BBC News reports. The BBC accurately reflects the findings of researchers who developed new tests for ovarian cancer. These tests…

Stem cells used to improve low vision

Wednesday Oct 15 2014

Stem cells used to improve low vision

"Embryonic stem cells transplanted into eyes of blind restore sight," The Daily Telegraph reports, covering a study where human stem cells were transplanted into the eyes of people with visual impairment…

Ebola could reach the UK, but outbreak risk is low

Wednesday Oct 15 2014

The Ebola virus: scientists are tracking how it spreads

“Global threat of Ebola: From the US to China, scientists plot spread of deadly disease across the world from its West African hotbed,” reports the Mail Online. This is a terrifyingly apocalyptic-sounding headline, yet...

Warnings issued over energy drinks

Wednesday Oct 15 2014

Warnings issued over energy drink risks

"Energy drinks could cause public health problems, says WHO study," The Guardian reports. A new review discusses the potential harms of these drinks, especially when they are mixed with alcohol…

Concerns raised about late diagnosis of lung cancer

Tuesday Oct 14 2014

Some GPs may be missing early signs of lung cancer

"Doctors in Britain are 'missing opportunities' to spot lung cancer at an early stage," BBC News reports. A study found around a third of people with the condition die within 90 days of their initial diagnosis…

Broccoli could 'hold the key' for treating autism

Tuesday Oct 14 2014

Broccoli could 'hold the key' for treating autism

"Broccoli chemical may improve autism symptoms," The Daily Telegraph reports. A small study suggests sulforaphane, a chemical that gives broccoli its distinctive taste, may help improve some of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder…

Can we count on counting calories?

Monday Oct 13 2014

Can we count on counting calories?

It's a concept at the cornerstone of most diets: counting the calories of your food intake so you don't go over the limit. But just how accurate are calorie labels...

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

Your NHS Health Check

Millions of people have already had their free "midlife MOT". Find out why this health check-up is so important

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...