Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

Proof opiates are useful for chronic back pain 'lacking'

Tuesday May 24 2016

"Powerful painkillers doled out in their millions are ineffective against back pain," the Daily Mail reports. An Australian review found evidence for the effectiveness of opiate-based painkillers, such as tramadol and…

Are broken bones, loneliness and poor sleep really hidden killers?

Wednesday May 18 2016

"Revealed, the five hidden killers that could send you to an early grave," the Daily Mail reports. These "hidden killers" include loneliness and poor sleep. But this is a simplistic take on complex research…

No evidence probiotics promote 'gut diversity' in healthy adults

Thursday May 12 2016

"Probiotic goods a 'waste of money' for healthy adults, research suggests," The Guardian reports. A new review of previously gathered data found no evidence that probiotics improved the balance of gut bacteria in healthy adults…

BMI categories may need adjusting, argue researchers

Wednesday May 11 2016

"Being overweight may not be as unhealthy as it was 40 years ago," BBC News reports. New research has found a body mass index (BMI) of 27 is linked to the lowest rate of death – but someone with a BMI of 27 is currently classed as being overweight...

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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