Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Could a DNA test predict obesity risk in children?

Thursday Mar 27 2014

DNA test could assess obesity risk in children

"A DNA blood test can predict obesity levels in children as they grow up, scientists claim," the Metro reports. The test, which is based on measuring "switches" in DNA, may help identify children who would benefit from early intervention…

Should people with 'fat genes' avoid fried food?

Wednesday Mar 19 2014

Got fat genes? Avoid fried food, study advises

"Eating fried food is more likely to make you fat if you have 'obesity genes'," The Independent reports after a study in the BMJ suggested that those with a genetic predisposition towards obesity should avoid fried food…

Reliability of stem cell 'breakthrough' questioned

Monday Mar 17 2014

Reliability of stem cell 'breakthrough' questioned

"Stem cell 'breakthrough data inappropriately handled'," BBC News reports. In January, scientists in Japan described how they had used acid baths to simply and cheaply generate...

Do short people also have smaller IQs?

Tuesday Mar 4 2014

Do short people also have smaller IQs?

“They’re already called ‘vertically challenged’ – but are short people intellectually challenged too?” is the headline in the Mail Online. The website reports on a gene study which found taller people were more likely…

Draft regulations on 'three parent' IVF published

Friday Feb 28 2014

Consultation launched on 'three-parent' IVF

'Three-person baby details announced' BBC News reports. Draft regulation, into so-called 'three parent IVF', designed to tackle a range of genetic conditions known as mitochondrial diseases, have been published by the Department of Health…

Gene tests for prostate cancer may be possible

Friday Feb 21 2014

Gene tests for prostate cancer may be possible

“Scientists have isolated a set of 13 gene defects that can be used to identify men who are most at risk of developing life-threatening prostate cancer," The Independent reports. Arguably the biggest challenge in treating prostate cancer…

Is there such a thing as a 'lazy gene'?

Monday Feb 17 2014

'Lazy gene' may have been identified

"A mutation in a gene with a critical role in the brain could explain why some people are 'couch potatoes'," The Independent reports, while the Mail Online claims that "there might soon be a pill to get you moving"…

Can pain be 'switched off'?

Wednesday Feb 5 2014

Scientists discover 'dimmer switch' for pain

"Pain 'dimmer switch' discovered by UK scientists," reports BBC News. This headline comes from a DNA study that looked at whether pain tolerance is linked to "gene expression". Gene expression means the influence that the "information"…

Donated human eye cells could help restore vision

Monday Feb 3 2014

Donated human eye cells could help restore vision

"Cells from eyes of dead 'may give sight to blind'," BBC News reports. This gruesome sounding news is based on a study that found that after being grown in the lab, a type of cell found in the retina could restore limited vision in rats…

Genes and diet may influence lifespan

Friday Jan 31 2014

Genes may impact on diet and aging

"Could a blood test help you choose between the Atkins and 5:2? Genes could hold secret to the diets that best suit our bodies," claims the Mail Online. However, no such test is available…

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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