Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Baby doll simulators may actually increase teen pregnancy rates

Friday Aug 26 2016

"Young girls exposed to electronic babies – designed to simulate the real experience of having a baby and discourage teenage pregnancy – were more likely to get pregnant," The Guardian reports…

Does time of day influence our susceptibility to infection?

Tuesday Aug 16 2016

"Viruses more dangerous in the morning," BBC News reports, but The Telegraph tells us that "the evening commute is worse for health". So who's right? It depends if you're talking about mice or humans…

Virtual reality helped improve nerve function in paralysed people

Friday Aug 12 2016

"Virtual reality has helped eight paralysed patients regain some feeling in their legs in 'a big surprise'," Sky News reports. Researchers using virtual reality (VR) combined with a robotic exoskeleton were surprised to find participants…

Can disruption to your body clock influence back pain symptoms?

Thursday Aug 4 2016

"Scientists have discovered that our spinal discs have a 24-hour body clock that can cause … pain when it gets out of synch," the Daily Mail reports; overstating research limited to mice. While the results may have human implications…

Chlamydia vaccine research 'shows early progress'

Wednesday Jul 20 2016

"Could a nose spray prevent chlamydia?" asks the Daily Mail, one of several media outlets reporting on promising research to develop a vaccine for the sexually transmitted disease (STI)...

Reduced antibiotic prescribing did not raise serious infections rates

Thursday Jul 7 2016

"Surgeries that handed out the fewest pills do not have higher rates of serious illnesses," the Daily Mail reports. A new study looked at the impact of prescribing patterns of antibiotics by GPs. The researchers were particularly interested in…

Many women think shaving pubic hair is 'hygienic'

Friday Jul 1 2016

"More women think shaving pubic hair is 'hygenic' [sic] despite greater health risks," The Independent reports. A US survey found more than half of women who groomed their public hair did so for hygiene reasons, despite evidence that shaving…

Heart attacks linked to media statin reports ... reports media

Wednesday Jun 29 2016

"Don't give up your statins: Experts say warnings that made patients stop taking vital drug have put lives at risk," the Daily Mail reports. This was the same newspaper that told us two weeks ago that "statins may be a waste of time"…

Almost half of all UK adults may be living with chronic pain

Tuesday Jun 21 2016

"Almost half the adult population is living with chronic pain," the Daily Mail reports. A major new review suggests that around 28 million adults in the UK are affected by some type of chronic pain…

'Friendly' virus repairs damaged liver cells (but only in mice)

Friday Jun 3 2016

"Have scientists found a cure for alcoholism?," the Mail Online asks, missing the point of the research entirely. Researchers were able to improve liver damage in mice. But this does not amount to curing an addiction to alcohol…

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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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