Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Scientists look into regenerating retinal cells

Thursday Oct 2 2014

Stem cells harvested from eyes could treat blindness

'Scientists … have discovered stem cells in the human eye which can be transformed into light sensitive cells and potentially reverse blindness' The Daily Telegraph reports. The research is still at a very early stage but does show promising potential…

Viagra 'may cause visual disturbance' in some men

Wednesday Oct 1 2014

Viagra 'may cause eye damage' in some men

"Viagra may permanently damage vision in some men, study finds," reports The Guardian. But the news is, in fact, based on research in mice. This research suggests the medication may not be suitable for men who carry a gene mutation…

'Rebooted' stem cells may lead to new treatments

Monday Sep 15 2014

'Rebooted' stem cells may lead to new treatments

"Scientists have managed to 'reset' human stem cells," the Mail Online reports. It is hoped studying these cells will provide more information about the mechanics of early human development…

How immunotherapy might treat multiple sclerosis

Thursday Sep 4 2014

Autoimmune disease like MS could be 'switched off'

"Breakthrough hope for MS treatment as scientists discover how to 'switch off' autoimmune diseases," the Mail Online reports. UK researchers have discovered that altering the activities of certain genes can change aggressive cells to protective cells…

'Safe' stem cell therapy may help stroke recovery

Monday Aug 11 2014

Stem cells: providing hope in many therapeutic areas

BBC Online today reports that "Stem cells show promise in stroke recovery". This accurate headline comes from a study showing how a new technique using a patient's own stem cells...

Could a blood test screen for suicide risk?

Thursday Jul 31 2014

Could a blood test screen for suicide risk?

"People with certain gene mutation 'may be more likely to end their life'," reports the Mail Online. A postmortem study found a gene called SKA2 was less active in the brains of people with mental illness who had committed suicide…

Study offers insight into genetics of schizophrenia

Tuesday Jul 22 2014

Fresh insights into the genetics of schizophrenia

"More than 100 schizophrenia genes have been pinpointed," reports the Daily Mail. In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers have gained further insights into the genetics of the condition, which it is hoped could lead to new treatments…

Gene mutation linked to distinct type of autism

Tuesday Jul 8 2014

Gene mutation linked to distinct type of autism

“Have scientists found the autism gene?" asks the Mail Online. The news is based on a genetic study that found children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were more likely to have a mutation in a gene called CHD8 than children without the disorder…

Lab-grown corneas could prevent blindness

Thursday Jul 3 2014

Lab-grown corneas could prevent blindness

"Scientists use stem cells to regenerate human corneas," BBC News reports. Researchers discovered a way of harvesting limbal stem cells and then transplanting them into mice to create fully functioning corneas…

Frozen testicle tissue produces mice offspring

Wednesday Jul 2 2014

Frozen testicle tissue used to produce live births

"A sample of frozen testicle has been used to produce live offspring in experiments on mice," BBC News reports. The technique could be of use for boys whose fertility is damaged due to treatment for cancers such as leukaemia…

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