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Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Is incense smoke more dangerous than tobacco smoke?

Wednesday Aug 26 2015

Is incense smoke more dangerous than tobacco smoke?

"Incense may need a health warning over 'toxic' smoke, claims research," The Daily Telegraph reports. Analysis of incense smoke, used in both western and Asian religious ceremonies for possibly thousands of years, found it contains many chemicals...

Researchers 'a step closer' to universal flu vaccine

Tuesday Aug 25 2015

Researchers 'a step closer' to universal flu vaccine

"Universal flu vaccine comes closer, scientists says," BBC News reports after two independent teams of researchers each found ways to target multiple strains of the influenza virus – but, as yet, the research has only involved animals...

E-cigarettes '95% less harmful than smoking' says report

Wednesday Aug 19 2015

E-cigarettes '95% less harmful than smoking' says report

"E-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than tobacco and could be prescribed on the NHS in future to help smokers quit," BBC News reports. This is the main finding of an evidence review carried out by Public Health England…

Butter 'not bad for you' but trans fats may be 'harmful'

Wednesday Aug 12 2015

Butter 'not bad for you' but trans fats may be 'harmful'

"Butter unlikely to harm health, but margarine could be deadly," The Daily Telegraph reports. A major analysis of data found no link between saturated fats and heart disease, stroke or diabetes, but there was a link with trans fats…

A 15-minute daily walk 'will help you live longer' says study

Tuesday Aug 4 2015

A 15-minute daily walk 'will help you live longer' says study

Going for a 15-minute walk every day will "make you live longer", reports the Mail Online. It is one of several news outlets to report that small amounts of daily exercise may be enough to increase your chances of living longer...

Heart attack, stroke and diabetes 'can shorten life by 23 years'

Wednesday Jul 8 2015

Heart attack, stroke and diabetes 'can shorten life by 23 years'

"Suffering from heart disease, stroke and type two diabetes could knock 23 years off life," The Daily Telegraph reports, covering the stark conclusion of a major new UK study. The good news is many chronic diseases, such as stroke, are preventable…

Gene therapy breakthrough for cystic fibrosis

Friday Jul 3 2015

Gene therapy breakthrough for cystic fibrosis

"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…

Elderly living near noisy roads have 'increased stroke risk'

Wednesday Jun 24 2015

Elderly Londoners living in noisy areas have 'increased stroke risk'

“Living in a neighbourhood with noisy road traffic may…increase the risk of stroke,” The Guardian reports. Researchers looked at noise levels across London and found a link...

Smoking causes half of all deaths in 12 different cancers

Thursday Jun 18 2015

Smoking causes half of all deaths in 12 different cancers

"Roughly half of deaths from 12 smoking-related cancers may be linked directly to cigarette use, a US study estimates," the Mail Online reports. Due to similar smoking rates, it is likely that a similar pattern exists in the UK…

Four out of ten Brits may naturally show fewer flu symptoms

Tuesday Jun 16 2015

Four out of ten Brits may have 'natural flu immunity'

"Four in 10 Britons immune to flu symptoms, leading to hopes of a new vaccine," The Independent reports. A survey of around 1,400 people found 43% of them had a type of immune cell – T cells – that helps protect against infection…

What is Behind the Headlines?

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