Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

British babies 'among the world's biggest criers' claim unproven

Tuesday Apr 4 2017

"Babies in Britain, Canada and Italy cry more than elsewhere," The Guardian reports. But the review the newspaper is reporting on only found reliable data from a handful of nations so the accuracy of the claim is unclear…

Morning after pill 'less reliable' for women over 11 stone

Monday Apr 3 2017

"Women who take morning-after pill could still fall pregnant if they weigh more than 11 stone," the Daily Mirror warns. New guidelines on emergency contraception discuss recent evidence that body mass index (BMI) and overall…

Loneliness may make cold symptoms feel worse

Friday Mar 31 2017

"Colds feel worse to lonely people," The Guardian reports. A US study, where participants were infected with the cold virus, found people who said they felt lonely also reported more severe symptoms…

Electromagnetic fields link to motor neurone disease 'weak'

Thursday Mar 30 2017

"Workers exposed to electromagnetic fields in their jobs could be at risk of developing motor neurone disease," the Daily Mail reports. A Dutch study found a link between occupational exposure to low-frequency magnetic fields and increased…

Brain implants allow paralysed man to feed himself

Thursday Mar 30 2017

"New technology allows tetraplegic man to move hand with thought," The Guardian reports. Implants, designed to replicate the function of the spinal cord, have allowed a man, paralysed from the neck down…

Can playing Tetris help prevent PTSD?

Wednesday Mar 29 2017

"Tetris can prevent post-traumatic stress disorder," reports The Daily Telegraph. An early stage study found that people who'd been in traffic accidents who played the popular computer game while waiting in A&E for treatment had fewer intrusive memories…

Breastfeeding 'doesn't boost children's intelligence'

Tuesday Mar 28 2017

"Scientists found tots given the boob had the same IQ at age three and five compared to bottle-fed youngsters," The Sun reports in its own unique way. An Irish study has found no significant differences in cognitive development between the two groups…

Is bad luck the leading cause of cancer?

Monday Mar 27 2017

"Most cancers are caused by random mistakes in the genetic code when cells divide out of the blue, new research shows," the Daily Mail reports. But this is an oversimplification of research that…

Modified protein promotes hair growth and fights ageing in mice

Friday Mar 24 2017

"Scientists create a chemical that can restore hair and give youthful energy," the Daily Mail reports; but these effects have only been achieved in mice. A modified protein called FOXO4-DRI has been successfully used to remove "broken ageing" cells…

Moderate drinking may reduce heart disease risk

Thursday Mar 23 2017

"A daily pint or glass of wine can slash the chances of a suffering heart attack by a third," reports The Sun. Researchers found that people who drank alcohol within moderate drinking guidelines were less likely to have a first episode…

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

Miracle foods: myths and the media

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

You be the judge

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...

Sugar intake should be reduced

Sugar intake should be drastically reduced, says report

A new government report recommends no more than 5% of our calorie intake should come from 'free sugars'. The previous recommendation was 10%