Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Gene therapy breakthrough for cystic fibrosis

Friday Jul 3 2015

Gene therapy breakthrough for cystic fibrosis

"Cystic fibrosis hope as new gene therapy improves condition," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers have, for the first time, managed to successfully "smuggle" healthy copies of genes into the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis…

Everyday chemicals may contribute to cancer risk

Thursday Jun 25 2015

No evidence that 'cocktail of everyday chemicals' cause cancer

'Fifty everyday chemicals…could be combining to increase our risk of cancer' the Mail Online reports. Researchers have identified 85 chemicals which have the potential to cause cells to switch into 'cancer mode'...

Too soon to say if breastfeeding problems could be genetic

Thursday Jun 18 2015

Too soon to say if breastfeeding problems could be genetic

"Is your inability to breastfeed written in your genes?" the Mail Online asks. The question is prompted by animal research that discovered that a genetic mutation in a protein called ZnT2 that may restrict milk production after pregnancy…

Stem cells could provide a treatment for a 'broken heart'

Tuesday May 19 2015

Stem cells could provide a treatment for a 'broken heart'

"'Heartbreak' stem cells could repair damage of heart attack," The Daily Telegraph reports. Research in mice suggests that stem cells could repair the damage to muscles that occur during a heart attack and relieve symptoms of heart failure…

Bioengineering advances raise fears of 'home-brew heroin'

Tuesday May 19 2015

Bioengineering advances raise fears of 'home-brew heroin'

The Daily Mirror carries the alarming headline that, "Heroin made in home-brew beer kits could create epidemic of hard drug abuse". It says scientists are "calling for urgent action to prevent criminal gangs gaining access…

Gene editing technique could prevent inherited diseases

Friday Apr 24 2015

Gene editing technique could prevent inherited diseases

"Researchers in the US have raised hopes for a simple genetic therapy that could prevent devastating diseases being passed on from mothers to their children," The Guardian reports…

A magnet for mosquitoes? Blame your genes

Thursday Apr 23 2015

A magnet for mosquitoes? Could be your genes’ fault

"Mosquitoes 'lured by body odour genes','' BBC News reports. Researchers tested a series of non-identical and identical twins, and found that identical twins had similar levels of attractiveness to mosquitoes…

Discovery could 'boost immune system's cancer fighting ability'

Friday Apr 17 2015

A lab mouse, typical of those used in research

The media is awash with news of a breakthrough that is "turbocharging the immune system to kill all cancers" (The Daily Telegraph) and a "game-changing new way to fight cancer" (The Independent)...

DNA changes in sperm may help explain autism

Wednesday Apr 15 2015

DNA changes in sperm may trigger autism

"DNA changes could explain why autism runs in families, according to study," The Independent reports. Research suggests a set of changes in a father's DNA – known as methylation – is linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in their offspring…

Can plucking hairs stimulate new hair growth?

Friday Apr 10 2015

Can plucking hairs can stimulate new hair growth?

"Plucking hairs 'can make more grow'," BBC News reports, while the Daily Mail went as far as saying scientists have found "a cure for baldness". But before you all reach for your tweezers, this discovery was made in mice, not humans…

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...

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