Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'Good ways to pop a pill'

Friday Nov 14 2014

Swallowing a pill is never fun, but for some it's really difficult

"Just a spoonful of water helps the medicine go down: Scientists discover the best way to swallow tablets," explains the Mail Online today. In fact, scientists haven't necessarily discovered the "best"...

Do people who take weight loss pills eat unhealthily?

Friday Nov 14 2014

Slimming pills: do they really make you think you can eat more cookies?

"Are slimming pills fuelling the obesity epidemic?" asks the Mail Online, reporting on research that suggests dieters "mistakenly believe they can eat whatever they want" after taking weight-loss drugs...

'Smart drug' modafinil won't make you brainier

Thursday Nov 13 2014

Studying hard is still the best way to enhance exam performance

"Smart drug 'may help improve creative problem solving'," is the headline in The Daily Telegraph. The media reports have been prompted by a new study on the effects of modafinil...

Fruit chemical may prevent organ damage

Thursday Nov 6 2014

Injections of fruit chemical repairs organ damage

"Could fruit help heart attack patients? Injection of chemical helps reduce damage to vital organs and boosts survival," reports the Daily Mail – "at least in rodents," it should have added…

'Elite controllers' may provide clues for HIV cure

Wednesday Nov 5 2014

'Elite controllers' may provide clues for HIV cure

"Scientists have uncovered the genetic mechanism which appeared to have led two HIV-infected men to experience a 'spontaneous cure'," the Mail Online reports. The idea is to modify the HIV virus, making it harmless, rather than trying to kill it…

Does paracetamol ease pain of decision making?

Thursday Oct 30 2014

Paracetamol 'may ease the pain of decision making'

"Paracetamol could make difficult decisions less of a headache," the Mail Online reports. The story follows a US study that looked at whether taking paracetamol could reduce the pain of making difficult decisions…

Agave syrup no better than placebo cough remedy

Tuesday Oct 28 2014

Placebo as 'effective as syrup' in treating coughs

"Placebo cough treatment benefits children and their parents, study suggests," The Daily Telegraph reports. A US study found that children’s reported cough symptoms improved even though they were just given a dummy treatment…

Drugs may work better at certain times of the day

Tuesday Oct 28 2014

Drugs may work better at certain times of the day

“Take your medication at the right time of day or it might not work,” The Independent reports. The news is based on a study which looked at the pattern of genes made in 12 different mouse organs, to see if any of the genes showed a circadian rhythm…

Dopamine drug linked to compulsive sex, shopping and gambling

Thursday Oct 23 2014

Dopamine drug linked to sex, shopping & gambling

"Drugs for restless leg syndrome cause gambling, hypersexuality, and compulsive shopping," Metro reports. A US study found that the dopamine receptor agonists class of drugs carries the rare but severe side effect of encouraging compulsive behaviours…

Viagra could double up as heart failure drug

Monday Oct 20 2014

Viagra could 'double-up' as heart failure drug

"Sex pill Viagra could help men suffering from heart disease," reports the Mirror. This headline follows a new review into the potential heart benefits of the active ingredient in erectile dysfunction drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra)…

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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