Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

Ibuprofen ‘barely better than placebo’ at treating back pain

Friday Feb 3 2017

"Widely used anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen have little more benefit than a placebo when it comes to treating back pain," reports the Guardian. This is based on a study looking at more than 6,000 people with back pain, comparing…

MRI scans could spare 25% of men from prostate biopsies

Friday Jan 20 2017

"Every man with suspected prostate cancer should have an MRI scan," The Guardian reports. That is the conclusion of a study looking at how well MRI scans compare with the current practice of biopsies; removing sections of prostate tissue for analysis...

Urine test could reveal if your diet is a threat to your health

Friday Jan 13 2017

"A urine test that can reveal how healthy your meals are has been developed by UK scientists," BBC News reports. Researchers wanted to see if they could help crack one of the biggest problems confronting people trying to carry out studies…

Reports of a 'wrinkle cure' look a little saggy

Monday Jan 9 2017

"Wrinkles could be a thing of the past as scientists find a way to regenerate fatty cells," The Daily Telegraph reports. Research involving mice suggests a protein called bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) could repair skin…

Gum disease bug linked to rheumatoid arthritis

Monday Dec 19 2016

"Want to avoid arthritis? Then brush your teeth … bugs that cause gum infections also trigger the crippling joint pain," the Mail Online reports. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system…

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