Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Teen vapers 'more likely to take up smoking'

Thursday Nov 10 2016

"Vaping raises likelihood of teenagers starting to smoke, study suggests," The Guardian reports. A study of US teens found those who regularly vaped were more likely to progress to tobacco smoking than their non-vaping peers…

Hopes raised that Zika virus could be treated in the womb

Wednesday Nov 9 2016

"Scientists say they may have found a way to protect babies in the womb from the harmful effects of Zika," BBC News reports. Researchers have had success using antibody therapy to treat mice when they were still in their mothers' womb…

Common food additives 'linked' to bowel cancer

Tuesday Nov 8 2016

"Why processed food may cause bowel cancer: Common additives change gut bacteria which allow tumours to grow," reports the Mail Online. This follows a study in mice investigating whether common food additives (E numbers)...

Smoking causes hundreds of genetic mutations

Monday Nov 7 2016

"Research quantifies genetic damage caused by smoking," the Mail reports, saying a pack a day causes 150 mutations in lung cells. This study analysed the DNA sequence of cells from more than 5,000 cancers...

Worrying about health linked to heart disease

Friday Nov 4 2016

"Worried well 'make themselves sick'," reports The Daily Telegraph. Several other news outlets covered the same story with headlines about how the "worried well" may be more likely to develop heart disease...

Promising Alzheimer's drug 'clears early hurdle'

Thursday Nov 3 2016

"Alzheimer's treatment within reach after successful drug trial," reports The Guardian as early tests on a new drug show promising signs. The drug, verubecestat, is designed to prevent the brain making a particular...

Smartphones and tablets 'disrupt children's sleep'

Wednesday Nov 2 2016

"Streaming instead of dreaming: Using phones and tablets before bed stops kids from sleeping and can lead to health issues" is the rather poetic headline from the Mail Online. A review of previous data found significant…

Eating one egg a day may lower risk of stroke

Wednesday Nov 2 2016

"An egg a day can cut chances of suffering a fatal stroke," The Times reports. A new review of existing data covering around 300,000 people suggests eating up to one egg a day may lower stroke risk; but not the risk of heart disease…

Mouthwash and disinfectant ingredient linked to 'superbug'

Tuesday Nov 1 2016

"A household mouthwash may be creating superbugs," the Daily Mail reports. A laboratory study found the ingredient chlorhexidine, used in a wide range of antiseptic products, increased bacterial resistance to the antibiotic colistin…

Are high-speed cyclists at risk from air pollution?

Monday Oct 31 2016

"High-speed cyclists 'breathe in dangerous levels of air pollution'," The Sun reports. Alexander Bigazzi, a Canadian engineer, put together a mathematical model, and his figures suggest cycling faster than 20km…

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

Miracle foods: myths and the media

Can a curry save your life? Read our report on the supposed health benefits of common foods

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...

Sugar intake should be reduced

Sugar intake should be drastically reduced, says report

A new government report recommends no more than 5% of our calorie intake should come from 'free sugars'. The previous recommendation was 10%