Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Children’s TV contains unhealthy 'food cues'

Friday Jul 4 2014

Children’s TV contains unhealthy 'food cues'

'Children are being bombarded with scenes of unhealthy eating on TV' The Independent reports. Researchers looking at public broadcasting in the UK and Ireland found children’s TV contained a high number of visual and verbal references to unhealthy foods…

Headbanging could damage your (Motör)head

Friday Jul 4 2014

How headbanging could be bad for your head

“German doctors are highlighting the dangers of headbanging after a 50-year-old man developed bleeding in the brain following a Motörhead concert,” BBC News reports. The news is based on a case report in The Lancet…

Lab-grown corneas could prevent blindness

Thursday Jul 3 2014

Lab-grown corneas could prevent blindness

"Scientists use stem cells to regenerate human corneas," BBC News reports. Researchers discovered a way of harvesting limbal stem cells and then transplanting them into mice to create fully functioning corneas…

Tests can predict teens most likely to binge drink

Thursday Jul 3 2014

Tests can predict teens likely to binge drink

“A single glass of wine or beer at the age of 14 can help a young teenager along the path to binge drinking,” the Daily Mail warns. But having a single drink does not mean a child is bound to become a “binge boozer”…

Frozen testicle tissue produces mice offspring

Wednesday Jul 2 2014

Frozen testicle tissue used to produce live births

"A sample of frozen testicle has been used to produce live offspring in experiments on mice," BBC News reports. The technique could be of use for boys whose fertility is damaged due to treatment for cancers such as leukaemia…

Parents of autistic kids 'have autistic traits too'

Wednesday Jul 2 2014

Parents of autistic kids 'also have autistic traits'

"Parents of children with autism are more likely to have autistic traits," the Mail Online reports. The news comes from research comparing the families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with those that are unaffected…

Emotions manipulated in Facebook study

Tuesday Jul 1 2014

Facebook manipulated people's emotions in study

"Facebook made users depressed in secret research," the Mail Online reports. The news comes from a controversial experiment where researchers used the social networking site Facebook to explore the effects of "emotional contagion"…

Kids who know their fast food logos 'grow up fat'

Tuesday Jul 1 2014

Kids who know their fast food logos 'grow up fat'

"Children who recognise fast food brands are more likely to be obese," the Mail Online reports. The headline is based on a US study that investigated whether there was an association between obesity and brand awareness in children…

'Supercooling' may extend life of transplant organs

Monday Jun 30 2014

'Supercooling' could widen transplant availability

BBC News reports on a new method to keep donated organs fresher for longer: “supercooling”. US researchers are developing a new technique for the longer term preservation of human organs before transplantation…

'Hangover guilt' part of brain 'identified'

Monday Jun 30 2014

'Hangover guilt' part of the brain identified

"Scientists pinpoint the part of the brain that tells us 'never again'," the Mail Online reports. New research in rats suggests part of the brain called the lateral habenula (LHb) helps us learn lessons from bad experiences…

Probiotics

Many health claims are made for probiotics. Find out when they might help and when to be sceptical

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

Alcohol, myths and the media

Can lager help you live longer? Can wine help you lose weight? We take a sober look at the media’s claims about alcohol, and what the science actually says

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...