Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

Could avocados hold the key to treating leukaemia?

Wednesday Jun 17 2015

Could avocados hold the key to treating leukaemia?

"Avocados could hold the key to helping beat rare form of leukaemia," The Independent reports. A substance in the fruit, avocatin B, was found in lab studies to effectively target acute myeloid leukaemia, a rare and aggressive blood cancer…

Four out of ten Brits may naturally show fewer flu symptoms

Tuesday Jun 16 2015

Four out of ten Brits may have 'natural flu immunity'

"Four in 10 Britons immune to flu symptoms, leading to hopes of a new vaccine," The Independent reports. A survey of around 1,400 people found 43% of them had a type of immune cell – T cells – that helps protect against infection…

Eating chocolate may slightly lower your risk of stroke

Tuesday Jun 16 2015

Eating chocolate may slightly lower your risk of stroke

"Two chocolate bars a day can SLASH the risk of heart disease and stroke," the Daily Mirror reports. The headline is prompted by results from a study investigating how chocolate is linked to cardiovascular diseases...

Potential breakthrough for osteoporosis announced

Monday Jun 15 2015

Potential breakthrough for osteoporosis announced

"Bone could be regrown to treat osteoporosis after breakthrough," The Daily Telegraph reports. This headline follows the development of a new drug that may increase bone formation, which could potentially combat osteoporosis. But this...

Does owning a cat put your family at risk of schizophrenia?

Monday Jun 15 2015

Does owning a cat put your family at risk of schizophrenia?

“Scientists have discovered a link between people who own cats and the development of mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, and believe a parasite may be to blame,” The Independent reports…

Marriage health claims are inconclusive

Friday Jun 12 2015

Marriage health claims are inconclusive

"Marriage is more beneficial for men than women," says The Daily Telegraph, while The Guardian reports: "Divorce not bad for your long-term health". Both headlines are prompted by a study looking at the long-term effects of relationships on health…

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...