Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Everyday chemicals may contribute to cancer risk

Thursday Jun 25 2015

'Fifty everyday chemicals…could be combining to increase our risk of cancer' the Mail Online reports. Researchers have identified 85 chemicals which have the potential to cause cells to switch into 'cancer mode'...

Too soon to say if breastfeeding problems could be genetic

Thursday Jun 18 2015

"Is your inability to breastfeed written in your genes?" the Mail Online asks. The question is prompted by animal research that discovered that a genetic mutation in a protein called ZnT2 that may restrict milk production after pregnancy…

Stem cells could provide a treatment for a 'broken heart'

Tuesday May 19 2015

"'Heartbreak' stem cells could repair damage of heart attack," The Daily Telegraph reports. Research in mice suggests that stem cells could repair the damage to muscles that occur during a heart attack and relieve symptoms of heart failure…

Bioengineering advances raise fears of 'home-brew heroin'

Tuesday May 19 2015

The Daily Mirror carries the alarming headline that, "Heroin made in home-brew beer kits could create epidemic of hard drug abuse". It says scientists are "calling for urgent action to prevent criminal gangs gaining access…

Gene editing technique could prevent inherited diseases

Friday Apr 24 2015

"Researchers in the US have raised hopes for a simple genetic therapy that could prevent devastating diseases being passed on from mothers to their children," The Guardian reports…

A magnet for mosquitoes? Blame your genes

Thursday Apr 23 2015

"Mosquitoes 'lured by body odour genes','' BBC News reports. Researchers tested a series of non-identical and identical twins, and found that identical twins had similar levels of attractiveness to mosquitoes…

Discovery could 'boost immune system's cancer fighting ability'

Friday Apr 17 2015

The media is awash with news of a breakthrough that is "turbocharging the immune system to kill all cancers" (The Daily Telegraph) and a "game-changing new way to fight cancer" (The Independent)...

DNA changes in sperm may help explain autism

Wednesday Apr 15 2015

"DNA changes could explain why autism runs in families, according to study," The Independent reports. Research suggests a set of changes in a father's DNA – known as methylation – is linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in their offspring…

Can plucking hairs stimulate new hair growth?

Friday Apr 10 2015

"Plucking hairs 'can make more grow'," BBC News reports, while the Daily Mail went as far as saying scientists have found "a cure for baldness". But before you all reach for your tweezers, this discovery was made in mice, not humans…

'Marathon men' make better sexual partners, media claims

Thursday Apr 9 2015

"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…

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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