Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Dementia saliva testing 'shows early promise'

Monday May 22 2017

"Simple saliva test for dementia 'shows promise' in bid to diagnose the disease early," the Daily Mirror reports. This news is based on a laboratory study that took saliva samples from 12 healthy adults, nine adults with Alzheimer’s disease…

Keyhole knee surgery is 'waste of time' review finds

Friday May 12 2017

“Keyhole knee surgery for arthritis pain 'is pointless’,” the Daily Mail reports. The headline is promoted by a review of the available evidence around knee arthroscopy (keyhole) procedures for people with degenerative knee conditions like osteoarthritis…

Life expectancy for people with HIV now 'near normal'

Thursday May 11 2017

"Young people on the latest HIV drugs now have near-normal life expectancy because of improvements in treatments," BBC News reports. The report says advances in antiretroviral drug treatments reduce the risks of serious complications…

New glaucoma test could save millions from blindness

Thursday Apr 27 2017

"It might be possible to treat the main cause of permanent blindness before people notice any loss of vision," BBC News report. A proof of concept study of early testing for glaucoma – the most common cause of sight loss – had promising results…

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…

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