Want to help us improve NHS Choices?

Find out more and sign up to our user research panel

Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'Marathon men' make better sexual partners, media claims

Thursday Apr 9 2015

'Marathon men' make better sexual partners, media claim

"Marathon runners are the best in bed," is the spurious claim in Metro. The headline is based on a study that only looked at long-distance runners’ finger ratios – said to be a marker for high testosterone levels – not reported partner satisfaction…

Short people may have an increased risk of heart disease

Thursday Apr 9 2015

Short people may have increased risk of heart disease

"Shorter people at greater risk of heart disease, new research finds," reports The Guardian. It reports that a study of nearly 200,000 people has found that for every 2.5 inches (6.35cm) less in height…

New Down’s syndrome test more accurate than current screening

Thursday Apr 2 2015

New Down’s syndrome test more accurate than current screening

"Blood test for Down's syndrome 'gives better results'," BBC News reports. The test, which is based on spotting fragments of "rogue DNA", achieved impressive results in a series of trials…

Autism-related genes linked to cognitive ability

Wednesday Mar 11 2015

Autism shares genes also associated with high intelligence

"Autism is linked to higher intelligence," the Mail Online reports. A new study found evidence that certain genetic variations associated with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) were linked to greater cognitive ability in non-autistic individuals…

Gene testing could find those who would benefit most from statins

Wednesday Mar 4 2015

Gene testing could find those who would benefit most from statins

"Patients with the highest genetic risk of suffering a heart attack benefit the most from cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, a study has found," The Guardian reports. Those with the highest genetic risk score appear to get the most benefit from the drugs…

MS stem cell treatment only a 'miracle' for some

Monday Mar 2 2015

Stem cell therapies are still at the cutting edge of medical science

The Daily Telegraph reports a "miracle" stem cell therapy that reverses multiple sclerosis, and which according to The Sunday Times gets "wheelchair-bound" people dancing...

Healthy older adults carry leukaemia mutations

Friday Feb 27 2015

Healthy older adult carry leukaemia mutations

"DNA develops to acquire genetic mutations linked with cancer as you get older," The Independent reports. A study of samples of blood cells found that DNA in older people began to acquire mutations associated with leukaemia…

Sunlight UV damage to skin persists even after dark

Friday Feb 20 2015

Sunlight UV damage to skin persists even in the dark

"Moving immediately into the shade does not stop sun damage, as UV rays can continue damaging skin cells hours after exposure," The Guardian reports. A study has found evidence that damage to DNA can continue after initial exposure…

Media heralds the discovery of 'infidelity gene'

Monday Feb 16 2015

Researchers say they have found the 'infidelity gene' in women

"Women are more likely to cheat on their partner if they carry the ‘infidelity gene'," the Mail Online reports. The "infidelity gene", a variant of the AVPR1A gene, may be associated with female sexual infidelity, researchers have found…

'Smart insulin' could be used to treat type 1 diabetes

Tuesday Feb 10 2015

'Smart insulin' could be used to treat type 1 diabetes

"Diabetes patients could be spared the burden of constantly monitoring blood sugar levels, after scientists have developed a 'smart' form of insulin," The Guardian reports. A modified form of insulin, only tested in mice, shows promise…

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...

Superfoods: the evidence

We examine the evidence behind the health claims of the most popular superfoods

Clinical trials and medical research

Clinical trials explained, including how to take part in one and why medical research is important

Atlas of risk

NHS Atlas of Risk

Compare cause of death and health risks based on age, sex and where you live

Strength and Flex

Download our Strength and flexibility podcast series and get a free personal trainer