Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Review questions recent official vitamin D guidance

Thursday Nov 24 2016

"Vitamin D pills branded 'waste of time' and could even be 'harmful' according to new research," The Sun reports. But, despite the headline, no new research has been done. The news comes from a review of existing evidence…

Study looks at nursing assistants’ effect on patient outcomes

Wednesday Nov 16 2016

"Patients are a fifth more likely to die on wards where nurses have been replaced by untrained staff, a major study has found," the Daily Mail reports. This latest research into 243 hospitals across Europe...

First time flu infection may affect lifetime immunity

Monday Nov 14 2016

"A person's chances of falling ill from a new strain of flu are at least partly determined by the first strain they ever encountered, a study suggests," BBC News reports. Researchers created a modelling study, based on historic data…

Hopes raised that Zika virus could be treated in the womb

Wednesday Nov 9 2016

"Scientists say they may have found a way to protect babies in the womb from the harmful effects of Zika," BBC News reports. Researchers have had success using antibody therapy to treat mice when they were still in their mothers' womb…

Mouthwash and disinfectant ingredient linked to 'superbug'

Tuesday Nov 1 2016

"A household mouthwash may be creating superbugs," the Daily Mail reports. A laboratory study found the ingredient chlorhexidine, used in a wide range of antiseptic products, increased bacterial resistance to the antibiotic colistin…

Study recommends screening toddlers for heart disease risk

Thursday Oct 27 2016

"Toddlers should be screened for an inherited form of heart disease … experts suggest," BBC News reports. A new study looked at the feasibility of screening for familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), an inherited…

Heading footballs may cause short-term brain changes

Monday Oct 24 2016

"Heading a football can significantly affect a player's brain function and memory for 24 hours, a study has found," BBC News reports. The news is based on a small experimental study involving 19 amateur footballers. The players were asked…

Receptionists 'putting people off' seeing their GPs

Wednesday Oct 12 2016

"Receptionists may 'put people off' seeing their GP by asking questions about symptoms," ITV News reports on a widely covered study carried out by Cancer Research UK. The study is part of an ongoing project…

Doctors 'vastly outperform' symptom checker apps

Tuesday Oct 11 2016

"Doctors correctly diagnose illness 'twice as often as online symptom checkers'," The Sun reports. A US study ran a head-to-head comparison between doctors and a series of symptom checkers using what are known as clinical vignettes…

Cervical screening every 10 years for healthy women is 'safe'

Thursday Oct 6 2016

"Cervical cancer: gap between screenings 'can be increased to 10 years'," The Guardian reports. A Dutch study suggests women who test negative for the human papilloma virus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer…

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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