Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Is a cure for type 1 diabetes 'within reach'?

Friday Oct 10 2014

Cure for type 1 diabetes 'within reach'

"Type 1 diabetes cure within reach after breakthrough," The Independent reports after researchers have managed to "coax" human stem cells into becoming insulin-producing cells…

Antibiotic resistance continues to rise

Friday Oct 10 2014

Antibiotic resistance continues to rise

"Antibiotic resistance continues to rise," BBC News reports as, despite warnings, the number of antibiotic prescriptions in the UK continues to soar, as do new cases of resistant bacteria…

Grapefruit juice may protect against diabetes

Thursday Oct 9 2014

Grapefruit juice may protect against diabetes

"Grapefruit juice 'could be the key to weight loss','' is the misleading headline in The Daily Telegraph, as mice fed a combination of a high-fat diet and grapefruit juice still put on weight. Though their blood sugar levels were lower than controls…

Healthy food 'costs you more' claim

Thursday Oct 9 2014

Healthy food 'costs you more' claim

“Healthy food now costs three times as much as junk, study shows,” The Independent reports. It also reports a sharper rise in the cost of fruit and veg over the past decade compared to other types of foods…

Questions about life after death remain unanswered

Wednesday Oct 8 2014

Whether there’s life after death remains a mystery

“Life after death is a real phenomenon,” Metro reports – but the headline is pure hype. Researchers were actually looking at “near-death experiences” – a very different thing. Indeed, the research involved people who did not die…

Vaginal orgasm 'doesn't exist', researchers argue

Wednesday Oct 8 2014

Vaginal orgasm 'doesn't exist', researchers argue

"There is no such thing as a vaginal orgasm," says the Mail Online, in a story that suggests some women have been diagnosed with sexual disorders based on the "myth" that they can orgasm through vaginal intercourse alone…

Cannabis labelled 'harmful and as addictive as heroin'

Tuesday Oct 7 2014

The potential harms of cannabis may be under-recognised

"Cannabis: the terrible truth," is today's Daily Mail front page splash story. The paper cites the risks posed by cannabis – including a doubling of the risk of schizophrenia...

Eating with a fat friend 'makes you eat more'

Monday Oct 6 2014

Eating with a fat friend 'makes you eat more' claim

"Sitting next to overweight people makes you more likely to gorge on unhealthy food," the Daily Express reports. A study involving an actress in a fat suit found that people tended to eat more when she was wearing the suit…

Green tea compound may improve cancer drugs

Monday Oct 6 2014

Green tea compound may improve cancer drugs

"Green tea could helps [sic] scientists develop new cancer fighting drugs," the Mail Online reports. Before you rush out to the shops, in no way does this study suggest green tea can fight cancer. Instead, research has found a compound in green tea…

Study finds clue to why colds trigger asthma

Friday Oct 3 2014

Study reveals new clue into why colds trigger asthma attacks

The Mail Online reports how "a simple cold can set off a deadly asthma attack: Scientists discover chemical can send the immune system into overdrive". It is well known that in people with asthma…

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...