Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Frog slime could protect us against future flu epidemic

Wednesday Apr 19 2017

"'Potent' new molecule in frog slime may give us new way to beat flu epidemics, say boffins," The Sun reports. Researchers looked at secretions from the skin of a south Indian frog called Hydrophylax bahuvistara…

Brain cell reprogramming therapy shows promise for Parkinson's

Tuesday Apr 11 2017

"New technique in which brain cells are reprogrammed could one day provide a cure for Parkinson's disease," The Independent reports. Researchers, using mice with Parkinson's disease, "reprogrammed" cells to replace the nerves lost in the condition…

Brain implants allow paralysed man to feed himself

Thursday Mar 30 2017

"New technology allows tetraplegic man to move hand with thought," The Guardian reports. Implants, designed to replicate the function of the spinal cord, have allowed a man, paralysed from the neck down…

Early warning signs of some cases of heart attacks 'being missed'

Wednesday Mar 1 2017

"Early warning signs may have been missed in up to one in six people who died of a heart attack in English hospitals," BBC News reports. A review of hospital records found 16% of people who died of a heart attack were admitted in the previous 28 days…

Five-a-day of fruit and veg is good, but '10 is better'

Thursday Feb 23 2017

"Forget five a day, eat 10 portions of fruit and veg to cut risk of early death," The Guardian reports. A major review found people who regularly ate 800g of fruit and veg a day – 10 portions – had a significantly lower risk of...

Inappropriate antibiotic prescribing by online pharmacies 'reckless'

Friday Feb 17 2017

"Scientists found antibiotics illegally available on 45% of websites they tested," the Mail Online reports. This headline was prompted by research into 20 online pharmacies selling antibiotics to the UK public…

GPs 'failing to prescribe tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer'

Tuesday Feb 14 2017

"Half of GPs unaware of drug's use [tamoxifen] in cancer prevention," The Guardian reports. An online survey of GPs found many were unaware of national guidelines recommending the use of tamoxifen for at risk women…

Online reviews of health products 'are misleading'

Monday Feb 13 2017

"Don't believe online reviews of health products, they're 'skewed'," the Mail Online reports. A psychologist compared online reviews of three medical products with results from clinical trials…

'Antibiotics, not surgery, best for child appendicitis' says study

Friday Feb 10 2017

"Operating on children with acute appendicitis may be unnecessary in many of cases, a landmark British study suggests," the Mail Online reports. The study suggests that infected or inflamed appendixes in children may be better treated using antibiotics…

Harnessing 'brute force' could be key to creating new antibiotics

Tuesday Feb 7 2017

"Antibiotics 'seen using brute force to kill bugs'," BBC News reports. The hope is that researchers could replicate the effect to create new antibiotics that could help combat the continuing threat of antibiotic resistance…

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