Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Climate change 'might bring rise in UK mosquito-borne diseases'

Monday Mar 23 2015

Climate change 'could see a rise in mosquito-borne disease'

"Mosquitoes heading for warmer UK," Sky News reports. A new review predicts that climate change will make the UK a hospitable environment for disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks, leading to an outbreak of conditions such as dengue fever…

Research casts doubt on aspartame sensitivity

Friday Mar 20 2015

Aspartame: sweeter than a candy-coated kitten

"Sweetener linked to cancer is safe to use," reports the Mail Online. Aspartame – a commonly-used artificial sweetener – has been dogged by controversy, despite being deemed safe by food regulators in the UK, EU and US...

Are half of all children's teeth really rotten?

Friday Mar 20 2015

Regular dental checks can help spot tooth decay

"Rotten teeth are secret reason why teens don't smile," revealed The Times today. The Daily Mirror expressed shock over revelations that...

Following UK dietary advice may cut heart disease risk

Thursday Mar 19 2015

Following UK diet guidelines may cut heart disease risk

"Sensible diet cuts heart attack risk in months," The Times reports after a randomised controlled trial found evidence that following current UK diet guidelines can reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors…

New blood test could help prevent antibiotic misuse

Thursday Mar 19 2015

New blood test could help prevent antibiotic misuse

“A new blood test can help doctors tease out whether an infection is caused by a bacteria or a virus within two hours,” BBC News reports. The test could help to appropriately target the use of both antibiotics and antivirals...

Damage to 'heart health' may start in childhood

Wednesday Mar 18 2015

Damage to 'heart health' may start in childhood

"Children are suffering damage to their hearts as early as 12 due to poor diets, a study has warned," the Mail Online reports. A US study suggests that an unhealthy diet in childhood can quickly lead to a deterioration in "heart health"…

Breastfed babies 'grow up to be brainier and richer'

Wednesday Mar 18 2015

Breastfed babies 'grow up to be brainier and richer'

"Breastfed babies grow up smarter and richer, study shows," The Daily Telegraph reports. A study from Brazil that tracked participants for 30 years found a significant association between breastfeeding and higher IQ and income in later life...

Obese people 'underestimate how much sugar they eat'

Tuesday Mar 17 2015

Do obese people underestimate their sugar intake?

"Obese people are 'in denial' about the amount of sugar they eat," the Mail Online reports. Researchers looking into the link between sugar consumption and obesity found a "huge gap" between overweight people's self-reported...

Could epilepsy drug be used to treat Alzheimer's disease?

Tuesday Mar 17 2015

Scientists are looking at new ways to treat dementia using existing drugs

A drug commonly used to treat epilepsy could help "slow down" the progress of Alzheimer's disease, reports The Daily Express. According to the news story, the drug levetiracetam was shown to...

All teens should be vaccinated against rare strain of meningitis

Monday Mar 16 2015

All teens should be vaccinated against new strain of meningitis

"A vaccination for meningitis is to be offered to all 14-18 year-olds in England and Wales, after a spike in a rare strain of the disease," The Guardian reports. The strain – meningitis W (MenW) – is described as rare, but life-threatening…

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...