Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Cannabis use 'genetically linked' to schizophrenia

Wednesday Jun 25 2014

Schizophrenia, cannabis use, 'genetically linked'

“Study finds people predisposed to the condition [schizophrenia’] and drug users share common genes,” the Mail Online reports. A new study suggests that ‘schizophrenia’ genes are associated with cannabis use…

High-factor sunscreen doesn’t cut melanoma risk

Thursday Jun 12 2014

High-factor sunscreen doesn’t cut melanoma risk

“High-factor sun cream cannot…protect against the deadliest form of skin cancer,” The Guardian reports. Research involving mice with a predisposition to develop melanoma found that sunscreen only delayed, rather than prevented, the onset of melanoma…

Making mosquitoes male may manage malaria

Wednesday Jun 11 2014

Making mosquitoes male may manage malaria

"Mosquitoes modified to only give birth to males in bid to wipe out malaria," The Daily Telegraph reports after new research has found an innovative way of tackling the global problem of malaria…

Three-person IVF in 'two years'

Thursday Jun 5 2014

Consultation launched on 'three-parent' IVF

"Scientists will be ready to create babies from three people in around two years, if it is made legal," BBC News reports. The UK fertility regulator, HFEA, has published a review into so-called three-parent IVF, designed to tackle mitochondrial diseases…

Cannabis and sunshine may damage sperm quality

Thursday Jun 5 2014

Cannabis and sunshine may damage sperm quality

''Cannabis doubles younger men's risk of infertility, study finds,'' reports The Independent. The same study also found a drop in sperm quality during the summer months.

Breast cancer gene and smoking is a 'lethal mix'

Monday Jun 2 2014

Breast cancer gene and smoking is a 'lethal mix'

"Smoking and the breast cancer risk gene BRCA2 combine to 'enormously' increase the chance of developing lung cancer," BBC News reports. The BRCA2 gene, which is known to increase breast cancer risk, appears to also up the risk of lung cancer…

Lasers used to regenerate damaged teeth

Thursday May 29 2014

Lasers used to regenerate damaged teeth

"Lasers have been used to regenerate parts of damaged teeth," BBC News reports. The hope is that laser therapy could one day replace lengthy and expensive dental operations such as root canal treatments…

FTO 'fat gene' may make people more impulsive

Thursday May 29 2014

FTO 'fat gene' may make people more impulsive

"Carriers of the FTO gene are more likely to succumb to impulsive hunger pangs and prefer high-calorie foods," the Mail Online reports. A study of carriers of a variant of the FTO gene found reduced activity in…

Four rare diseases added to newborn screening

Monday May 12 2014

Newborn screening for four diseases set to be launched

"Newborn babies to be tested for rare diseases," reports BBC News online. The news is based on an announcement by the UK's National Screening Committee (NSC)…

Can mental trauma be passed on through sperm?

Thursday Apr 24 2014

Mental trauma passed 'through sperm'

"Traumatic experiences can be inherited, as major shocks alter how cells in the body work," The Daily Telegraph reports. But before you start blaming mum and dad for your problems, the research it reports on only involved mice…

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