Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

MPs vote to give the go-ahead to three-parent IVF

Wednesday Feb 4 2015

Consultation launched on 'three-parent' IVF

“In an historic move, MPs have voted in favour of the creation of babies with DNA from two women and one man,” BBC News reports. The UK is set to become the first country to license the technique known as three-parent IVF…

Thousands of UK women could benefit from 'three-person' IVF

Thursday Jan 29 2015

Thousands of UK women could benefit from 'three-person' IVF

"Thousands of women could benefit from 'three-parent' baby technique," The Independent reports. A modelling study estimated the technique, which is currently illegal, could be used for thousands of women with genes linked…

Could 'DNA editing' lead to designer babies?

Monday Jan 19 2015

Could 'DNA editing' lead to designer babies?

"Rapid progress in genetics is making 'designer babies' more likely and society needs to be prepared," BBC News reports. The headline is prompted by advances in "DNA editing", which may eventually lead to genetically modified babies…

Are most cancers down to 'bad luck'?

Monday Jan 5 2015

Are most cancers due to 'bad luck'?

"Most types of cancer can be put down to bad luck rather than risk factors such as smoking," BBC News reports. A US study estimates around two-thirds of cancer cases are caused by random genetic mutations…

Gene therapy could help with inherited blindness

Wednesday Dec 10 2014

Gene therapy may help with inherited blindness

"Procedure to restore sight in dogs gives hope for future blindness cure," The Independent reports. Researchers have restored some modest degree of light sensitivity (though not full vision) in animals who have a similar condition…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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