Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Can overweight men pass obesity risk to their children?

Friday Dec 4 2015

"Are you fat because of your dad?" is the Mail Online's bold question to its readers, explaining that "Men's weight directly affects genes in sperm linked to appetite and brain development"...

Scientists find gene that 'delays Alzheimer's'

Wednesday Dec 2 2015

Scientists have identified a genetic variation thought to delay the start of Alzheimer's disease, according to several media reports. The news is based on a study of 71 descendants of the same ancestral family in northern Colombia...

Gene editing breakthrough in treating baby’s leukaemia

Friday Nov 6 2015

"Baby girl is first in the world to be treated with 'designer immune cells'," The Guardian reports. Pioneering work carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital made use of a novel technique known as genome editing…

Blood test could help improve prostate cancer outcomes

Thursday Nov 5 2015

"A blood test can determine whether prostate cancer patients are likely to respond to drugs," BBC News reports. The test assesses whether men with prostate cancer have a good chance, or not, of responding well to a drug called abiraterone…

'Greedy gene' that stops some people from feeling full discovered

Monday Nov 2 2015

"A single gene mutation may be all it takes to determine if a person is prone to becoming obese," the Mail Online reports. A particular genetic variant may disrupt the normal workings of a protein…

Genetic variation 'reduces risk of heart disease in women'

Thursday Oct 22 2015

"Scientists have identified a gene that puts women at higher risk of heart disease, an early study suggests," BBC News incorrectly reports. But the study in question has not found a new gene...

There may be four distinct types of bowel cancer

Wednesday Oct 14 2015

"Bowel cancer is four distinct diseases, each with a different prognosis," BBC News reports after new research suggests there are four genetic sub-types of bowel cancer. It's hoped adapting treatment to each type will lead to better outcomes…

Why elephants hardly ever get cancer and how that can help us

Friday Oct 9 2015

"Elephants have enhanced defences against cancer that can prevent tumours forming," BBC News reports. Just 1 in 20 elephants die of cancer, compared with around 1 in 5 humans. Researchers wanted to see why this is…

Gene therapy breakthrough for cystic fibrosis

Friday Jul 3 2015

"Cystic fibrosis hope as new gene therapy improves condition," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers have, for the first time, managed to successfully "smuggle" healthy copies of genes into the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis…

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'...

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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