Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Longer sleep linked to stroke

Thursday Feb 26 2015

 Persistent long sleep may be stroke warning sign

"People who sleep more than eight hours are more likely to have a stroke," The Independent reports. After pooling data from previous research, researchers estimate that people who regularly sleep more than eight hours a day have a 46% higher risk…

'Game changer' HIV drug cuts infection risk by 86%

Wednesday Feb 25 2015

'Game changer' HIV drug cuts infection risk by 87%

"Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%," The Independent reports. The drug, Truvada, has proved very successful in a "real-world" trial…

Anger possibly linked with non-fatal heart attacks

Tuesday Feb 24 2015

There are lots of benefits to trying to remain calm

"'Plate-throwing rage' raises heart attack risk nearly 10 fold," The Daily Telegraph reports, slightly inaccurately. This headline reports on a study that found that just seven out of 313 people had felt "very angry"...

Media overstates dementia benefits of Mediterranean diet

Monday Feb 23 2015

The Mediterranean diet is similar to the UK's recommended "Eatwell plate"

"New diet to fight dementia," claims the Sunday Express, somewhat predictably, while The Independent reports: "Mediterranean diet could help beat dementia". Despite the media focus...

Researchers may have unmasked mystery of cannabis 'munchies'

Thursday Feb 19 2015

Researchers may have unmasked mystery of 'cannabis munchies'

"Cannabis 'munchies' explained by new study," The Guardian reports. "Munchies" is widely used slang for a common effect of cannabis: sudden hunger pangs, even if a user has just eaten. A new study set out to find why cannabis causes increased appetite…

Menopausal symptoms 'last longer' than previously thought

Wednesday Feb 18 2015

Menopausal symptoms 'last longer' than previously thought

"Menopause lasts 'up to 14 years'," the Daily Mail reports, with The Daily Telegraph reporting a similar figure – but according to The Guardian, it's "12 years"…

Media heralds the discovery of 'infidelity gene'

Monday Feb 16 2015

Researchers say they have found the 'infidelity gene' in women

"Women are more likely to cheat on their partner if they carry the ‘infidelity gene'," the Mail Online reports. The "infidelity gene", a variant of the AVPR1A gene, may be associated with female sexual infidelity, researchers have found…

Super-strength 'skunk' cannabis linked to psychosis

Monday Feb 16 2015

Super-strength 'skunk' cannabis linked to psychosis

" 'Skunk-like cannabis' increases risk of psychosis, study suggests," BBC News reports after a new study found high-potency strains of "skunk" cannabis – infamous for both its strength and its pungent smell – could be linked to one in four cases of…

When Minnie met Mickey: is rodent romance all in the mind?

Friday Feb 13 2015

Hormones 'play a role' in female sexual arousal

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the Mail Online thoughtfully cushions its readers against possible rejection ahead of time: “You may have lit the candles, opened the wine and dimmed the lights. But, inexplicably, your partner still…

Could a 30-minute 'power nap' make up for a bad night's sleep?

Thursday Feb 12 2015

A 30-minute 'power nap' could make up for a bad night's sleep

"Indulging in a power nap can repair the damage caused by a lack of sleep," the Daily Mail reports. But the study that prompted the headline is very small – involving just 11 healthy young men…

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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