Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Vitamin D deficiency linked to high blood pressure

Thursday Jun 26 2014

Vitamin D deficiency linked to high blood pressure

"Vitamin D supplements could help high blood pressure," The Independent reports. The paper reports on new research into genetic variations associated with low vitamin D levels and their relationship with blood pressure…

Casual sex can boost self-esteem

Thursday Jun 26 2014

Casual sex can be self-esteem booster

"Casual sex is GOOD for you and actually helps improve self-esteem and self-worth," the Daily Mail reports. A study involving students found that casual sex did boost self-esteem, but only in people who felt comfortable about having casual sex…

Menthol cigs 'encourage teens to smoke more'

Tuesday Jun 24 2014

Menthol cigs 'encourage teens to smoke more'

"Menthol cigarettes ARE more addictive," the Mail Online claims, based on a survey of 5,000 teenagers. The 2010-11 Canadian school survey found that 16% of teenagers aged 14 to 18 smoke cigarettes…

Stress 'causes damage to the heart,' study finds

Monday Jun 23 2014

Stress 'can damage heart'

"Stress is already known to be bad for the heart, but now scientists have discovered why it is so harmful," The Times reports. A new US study now offers a plausible model of how chronic psychological stress could lead to…

Sun tanning 'addictive' suggests study

Friday Jun 20 2014

Sun tanning 'addictive' suggests study

"Sunbathing 'may be addictive' warning," BBC News reports. Studies in mice suggest that exposure to ultraviolet radiation may trigger the release of endorphins leading to an opiate-like "high" and mice may even then experience UV withdrawal symptoms …

Office screen work linked to dry eye syndrome

Wednesday Jun 18 2014

Office screen work linked to dry eye syndrome

"People who spend their working hours staring at a computer screen have changes…typical… with… dry eye [syndrome]," The Independent reports. A Japanese study suggests a link between staring at a screen all day and damage to the tear ducts…

Air pollution linked to irregular heartbeat and lung blood clots

Thursday Jun 5 2014

Pollution linked to irregular heartbeat and blood clots

"Air pollution is linked to increased risk of developing an irregular heartbeat and blood clots in the lung," BBC News reports. A large study found that short-term exposure to small particulate matter – a form of air pollution…

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.

Just five sunburns increase your cancer risk

Tuesday Jun 3 2014

Just five sunburns increases your cancer risk

“Five serious sunburns increase the risk of deadly skin cancer by 80%,” The Daily Telegraph reports. A US study has found that sun overexposure during the teenage years significantly increases the risk of developing skin cancer in later life.

Is sleeping in a light room linked to obesity?

Friday May 30 2014

Is sleeping in a light room linked to obesity?

"Sleeping in a room with too much light has been linked to an increased risk of piling on the pounds," BBC News reports. The news comes from a study that assessed self-reported sleeping habits…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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