Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

Does light at night pose a health risk?

Monday Mar 16 2015

Warning issued over potential health dangers of light at night

"Britons should fit blackout blinds and ban electronic gadgets from the bedroom to avert the risk of diseases such as cancer," the Mail Online warns…

Do people with depression perceive time differently?

Friday Mar 13 2015

Do people with depression perceive time differently?

"How depression affects our sense of time: Hours drag on and even stand still," is the somewhat over-hyped headline from the Mail Online. As the old saying goes – Time flies when you’re having fun. So does the reverse also ring true?…

Loneliness 'increases risk of premature death'

Friday Mar 13 2015

Loneliness increases risk of premature death

"Loneliness as big a killer as obesity and as dangerous as heavy smoking," the Daily Express reports. Researchers pooled the results of previous studies, estimating that loneliness can increase the risk of premature death by around 30%...

UK Ebola case confirmed but risk remains low

Thursday Mar 12 2015

Ebola threat to the UK is 'very low'

The Scottish nurse found to have Ebola after arriving in Glasgow from Sierra Leone has recovered after specialist care at the Royal Free Hospital in London ...

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...