Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Lack of sleep knocks your social appeal, says research

Wednesday May 17 2017

"A couple of bad nights is enough to make a person look 'significantly' more ugly," reports BBC News. Researchers in Sweden found people rated photographs of strangers as less attractive and healthy...

Hope for plant-based contraceptive, study claims

Tuesday May 16 2017

"Forget Plan B – try aloe vera, controversial study claims: Scientists insist pills made from dandelions and mangoes can prevent pregnancy without a hit of hormones," reports the Mail Online. The news is based on a study...

Can fizzy water make you fat?

Monday May 15 2017

"Fizzy water could cause obesity by encouraging you to eat more," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers aimed to see whether it could be the carbonation in soft drinks – rather than the sugar…

Keyhole knee surgery is 'waste of time' review finds

Friday May 12 2017

“Keyhole knee surgery for arthritis pain 'is pointless’,” the Daily Mail reports. The headline is promoted by a review of the available evidence around knee arthroscopy (keyhole) procedures for people with degenerative knee conditions like osteoarthritis…

Yoga may bring long-term benefits for people with depression

Friday May 12 2017

"Yoga can ease depression symptoms, according to the largest study to ever investigate the link," the Mail Online reports. The study didn't find any benefits from doing yoga at the end of the 10-week study period…

Life expectancy for people with HIV now 'near normal'

Thursday May 11 2017

"Young people on the latest HIV drugs now have near-normal life expectancy because of improvements in treatments," BBC News reports. The report says advances in antiretroviral drug treatments reduce the risks of serious complications…

Ibuprofen linked to increased risk of heart attacks

Wednesday May 10 2017

"Taking painkillers for just one week 'raises the risk of a heart attack'," the Daily Mail reports. The report is based on a new analysis that found a link between anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen and heart attack risk…

Review finds no link between dairy and heart attack or stroke risk

Tuesday May 9 2017

"Eating cheese does not raise risk of heart attack or stroke," reports The Guardian. This follows a large review pooling the results of 29 observational studies into the link between dairy consumption and cardiovascular disease; coronary heart disease…

Evidence behind reports of new baldness cure is a little thin

Monday May 8 2017

"Scientists studying cancer stumble on 'breakthrough' in search for baldness cure," announces The Daily Telegraph, adding that not only does this mean "a cream or ointment may soon cure baldness or stop hair turning grey" but also it could…

Concerns about alleged 'harmful' arsenic levels in baby rice cakes

Friday May 5 2017

"Almost half of baby rice food products contain illegal levels of inorganic arsenic despite new regulations set by the EU, according to researchers," ITV News reports…

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