Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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 ...

Ultrasound 'breakthrough' in treating Alzheimer’s - in mice

Thursday Mar 12 2015

Ultrasound 'breakthrough' in treating Alzheimer’s in mice

"Alzheimer's breakthrough as ultrasound successfully treats disease in mice," The Guardian reports. New research found high-energy sound waves helped remove abnormal clumps of proteins from the brains of mice, and also improved their memory…

Diet, exercise and brain training may help keep the mind 'sharp'

Thursday Mar 12 2015

Diet, exercise and brain training may help prevent dementia

"Dancing, doing Sudoku and eating fish and fruit may be the way to stave off … mental decline," The Guardian reports. A Finnish study suggests a combination of a healthy diet, exercise and brain training may help stave off mental decline...

Autism-related genes linked to cognitive ability

Wednesday Mar 11 2015

Autism shares genes also associated with high intelligence

"Autism is linked to higher intelligence," the Mail Online reports. A new study found evidence that certain genetic variations associated with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) were linked to greater cognitive ability in non-autistic individuals…

Genetic high cholesterol 'may help protect against type 2 diabetes'

Wednesday Mar 11 2015

High cholesterol 'may help protect against type 2 diabetes'

"High cholesterol LOWERS the risk of diabetes," is the Daily Mail's rather misleading headline, going on to say that, "New study reveals why taking statins may be harmful"…

HRT review finds increased risk of blood clots and stroke

Tuesday Mar 10 2015

HRT review finds increased risk of blood clots and stroke

'Women on HRT pills should be aware that there is a small chance of an increased risk of blood clots and possibly stroke' BBC News report. A major review, involving over 40,000 patient records, found an increase in risk of clotting….

A diet rich in veg and fish may reduce bowel cancer risk

Tuesday Mar 10 2015

A diet rich in veg and fish may reduce bowel cancer risk

"Becoming a pescetarian can protect against bowel cancer, new research suggests," the Mail Online reports. The US study found people who mainly eat fish and vegetables, and small quantities of meat, had a significantly reduced risk of bowel cancer…

Is education the best form of teen contraception?

Monday Mar 9 2015

Is education the best form of teen contraception?

"Getting a good education could be the best form of contraception for teenagers," The Independent reports after a study of recent data from England found an association between improved GCSE results and lower rates of teenage pregnancy…

How alcohol intake can change over a lifetime

Monday Mar 9 2015

How alcohol intake can change over a lifetime

"Binge drinking peaks at 25 … but by middle age he's drinking daily," the Mail Online reports. In what has been described as the first of its kind, a new study has tried to track the average adult drinking pattern over the course of a lifespan…

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...