Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

Breakthrough in stem cell creation using acid bath

Thursday Jan 30 2014

Stem cell acid bath breakthrough

"Stem cell researchers are heralding a 'major scientific discovery'," BBC News reports. Japanese scientists have created pluripotent stem cells (stem cells than can form all parts of the body) essentially by dipping mouse blood cells in acid…

Could stem cell research spell the end of baldness?

Wednesday Jan 29 2014

Further research into baldness stem cell cure

“Baldness has plagued men for centuries, but the dreaded comb-over may soon be history,” The Times reports, somewhat prematurely. This news comes from laboratory research in which human skin cells were injected into mice…

New strains of the Black Death could emerge

Tuesday Jan 28 2014

New strains of the Black Death could emerge

"Plague that killed millions is able to rise from the dead,” warns The Independent after a new study looked at the genetic history of the Yersinia pestis bacteria. Plague is a devastating disease which causes rapid death…

Genetic effects of shift work examined

Tuesday Jan 21 2014

Genetic effects of shift work examined

“Night work ‘throws body into chaos’,” reports the BBC News website. The news is based on a new study from researchers at the University of Surrey which found that the daily rhythms of genes are disrupted by shifting sleep times…

Gene therapy offers hope for sight loss

Thursday Jan 16 2014

Gene therapy offers hope for blindness

Gene therapy "could be used to treat blindness," BBC News reports. This is just one of the many headlines reporting on the exciting application of gene therapy in visual impairment…

Dad’s diet may impact on offspring’s future health

Wednesday Dec 11 2013

Dad’s diet may impact on offspring’s gene health

“Dad's diet before conception plays crucial role in long-term health of offspring,” reports the Mail Online, recommending that prospective dads “stick to greens and avoid junk…

What is Behind the Headlines?

What is Behind the Headlines?

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