Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Woman gives birth using ovaries she had frozen as a child

Wednesday Jun 10 2015

Woman gives birth using ovaries she had frozen as a child

"A young woman in Belgium has become the first to give birth to a healthy baby after having her fertility restored by a transplant of ovarian tissue that was removed and frozen when she was a child," The Guardian reports…

Breast cancer 'tumour trigger' that spreads disease discovered

Tuesday Jun 9 2015

Breast cancer 'tumour trigger' that spreads disease discovered

"Experts have identified a 'trigger' which enables breast cancer cells to spread," the Daily Mirror reports. The trigger – a protein called CCL3 – appears to help cancerous cells spread into the lungs…

Wet wipes may help spread hospital bugs

Tuesday Jun 9 2015

Wet wipes may help spread hospital bugs

"A new study finds that detergent wipes are spreading bugs in hospitals," The Daily Telegraph reports. This isn't strictly true, as the study didn't do any tests in hospitals. But through laboratory experiments…

New blood test for viral infections shows promise

Monday Jun 8 2015

New blood test could reveal your entire history of viral infections

"New test uses a single drop of blood to reveal entire history of viral infections," The Guardian reports. Every time you are infected by a virus, your immune system produces specific types of antibodies in response…

'Missing link' between brain and immune system discovered

Monday Jun 8 2015

'Missing link' between brain and immune system discovered

"Newly discovered vessels beneath skull could link brain and immune system," The Guardian reports. The discovery, which has been described as textbook-changing, could lead to new treatments for a range of neurological conditions…

Depression 'starts in the womb' claim is unproven

Friday Jun 5 2015

Depression 'starts in the womb' claim is unproven

"The seeds of depression can be sown in the womb," is the claim in the Mail Online. A study did find that depression during pregnancy was linked to an increased risk of depression in adult offspring, but this could be due to a range of factors…

Children with autism may be supersensitive to change

Friday Jun 5 2015

Children with autism may be super-sensitive to change

"People with autism … are over-sensitive to the world," the Mail Online reports. It reports on an animal study involving a rat model of autism, where a chemical is used to mimic the development of autism in rats…

Five-year 'death test' for older adults launched online

Thursday Jun 4 2015

Five-year 'death test' for older adults launched online

"Are you dying to know? Scientists develop death test to predict if you'll make it to 2020," The Daily Telegraph reports. The test is based on analysis of data collected from the UK Biobank…

Breast cancer screening 'cuts deaths by 40%' expert panel says

Thursday Jun 4 2015

Breast cancer screening 'cuts deaths by 40%' expert panel says

"Women who undergo breast cancer screening cut their risk of dying from the disease by 40%, according to a global panel of experts," The Guardian reports. However, critics of screening say they have under-estimated the scale of overdiagnosis…

Can a single-shot therapy session cure insomnia?

Wednesday Jun 3 2015

Claims that single-shot therapy session can 'cure' insomnia

"Insomnia could be cured with one simple therapy session, new study claims," The Independent reports. UK researchers have been looking at whether cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) delivered in a single one-hour session can combat acute insomnia…

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...