Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Could cannabis damage DNA that is then passed down generations?

Thursday May 26 2016

"Smoking cannabis can alter a person's DNA, causing mutations that expose a user to serious illnesses," the Mail Online reports. A new review has looked at the role cannabis may play in what is known as chromothripsis…

Dad's age, diet and lifestyle may cause birth defects

Monday May 16 2016

"Men are being warned to become fathers by 40 or face a greater risk of having children with serious illnesses," the Daily Mail reports after a new review looked at some of the evidence about paternal influences on the risk of childhood diseases…

Gene breakthrough promises 'bespoke' breast cancer treatment

Tuesday May 3 2016

"Breast cancer treatment breakthrough after 'milestone' genetic discovery," says The Independent, about widely reported research investigating genetic mutations in people with breast cancer...

Mystery of the 13 people with 'superhero DNA'

Tuesday Apr 12 2016

"Some people appear to be born with 'superhero DNA' that cancels out genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis," BBC News reports. A major study of over 500,000 people found 13 people who should have developed serious genetic conditions, but didn’t...

Embryos with defective cells 'can still develop healthily'

Wednesday Mar 30 2016

"Abnormal cells not a sure sign of baby defects," reports The Telegraph following the publication of a study on the development of healthy embryos...

Study suggests gene may turn 'good' cholesterol into 'bad'

Monday Mar 14 2016

"Some people with high levels of supposedly 'good' cholesterol are at much greater risk of heart disease," BBC News reports. Researchers have identified a genetic variant – P376L – that may cause some people to have…

Stem cells used to repair children's eyes after cataracts

Thursday Mar 10 2016

"Children with cataracts regain sight after radical stem cell treatment," The Guardian reports. The new operation, carried out on 12 children under two years old in China, was to treat childhood cataracts…

Have scientists really discovered why skin ages?

Monday Feb 29 2016

"Powerful anti-ageing treatments which banish wrinkles for good are a step closer after scientists found the enzyme responsible for youthful skin," says the Daily Telegraph. Researchers from Newcastle University...

Researchers discover pancreatic cancer is 'four different diseases'

Thursday Feb 25 2016

"Major insight into killer pancreatic cancer," BBC News reports after research into pancreatic cancer identified four distinct subtypes. This discovery may lead to new treatments for this notoriously hard-to-treat condition…

New blood test can detect a range of inherited heart conditions

Friday Feb 19 2016

"A new blood test could help diagnose people with inherited heart conditions," BBC News reports. Inherited heart conditions affect around 1% of the population, and can disrupt the normal functioning of the heart – sometimes with fatal results…

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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