Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Deadly MERS 'camel flu' may now be airborne

Thursday Jul 24 2014

Deadly MERS 'camel flu' may now be airborne

"Deadly Mers virus 'could now be airborne'," The Independent reports. Air samples suggest that the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus, which has an estimated 30% case fatality rate, could now be spread through the air...

Paracetamol 'doesn’t work' for lower back pain

Thursday Jul 24 2014

Paracetamol 'doesn’t work' for lower back pain

“Paracetamol used to treat acute lower back pain is no better than a dummy pill,” BBC News reports. A well-conducted trial casts doubts on the widespread recommendation that paracetamol is an effective treatment for lower back pain…

Sleep deprivation may affect memory

Wednesday Jul 23 2014

Sleep deprivation may affect memory

"Sleep deprived people are more likely to … hold 'false' memories of the past," The Daily Telegraph reports. New results suggest that lack of sleep may make more people more vulnerable to develop certain types of memory problems…

Umami flavouring 'may help you feel fuller faster'

Wednesday Jul 23 2014

Umami flavouring 'may help you feel fuller faster'

"Always hungry? You need more UMAMI in your life: study finds so-called 'fifth taste' in sauces and meat helps us feel satisfied," reports the Mail Online. Umami is a Japanese term that roughly translates as "pleasant savoury taste"…

Study offers insight into genetics of schizophrenia

Tuesday Jul 22 2014

Fresh insights into the genetics of schizophrenia

"More than 100 schizophrenia genes have been pinpointed," reports the Daily Mail. In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers have gained further insights into the genetics of the condition, which it is hoped could lead to new treatments…

Probiotics 'may improve blood pressure'

Tuesday Jul 22 2014

Probiotics may help improve blood pressure

“Eating probiotics may lower blood pressure,” The Daily Telegraph reports. Probiotics, so-called “friendly bacteria”, have been found to moderately reduce blood pressure in a new study…

HIV 'reservoirs' may form earlier than expected

Monday Jul 21 2014

Anti-HIV medication can be effective at limiting the effects of the virus

"Early HIV drugs 'may not stop virus'," BBC News reports. The report is based on a study of HIV treatments in monkeys, and has been linked by the BBC to the emergence of HIV in a four-year-old girl thought to have been cured of the virus as the...

Could new potential treatment mean safer IVF?

Monday Jul 21 2014

Around 2% of babies are now born through IVF

"Dozen babies born using 'safer' IVF treatment," reads today’s headline in The Independent. This headline was based on a new study providing proof of concept that the natural hormone kisspeptin-54 could...

Obese women may have 'food learning impairment'

Friday Jul 18 2014

Obese women have 'food learning impairment'

"Obese women show signs of food learning impairment," is the headline on the BBC News website. It reports on a behavioural study involving 67 individuals of normal weight and 68 obese individuals…

'More adults should be taking statins,' says NICE

Friday Jul 18 2014

'More adults should be taking statins' says NICE

NICE suggests thousands of lives a year could be saved if more adults were offered these cholesterol lowering drugs

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...