Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Old meningitis B vaccine 'may also protect against gonorrhoea'

Tuesday Jul 11 2017

"Meningitis vaccine may also cut risk of 'untreatable' gonorrhoea, study says," is the headline in The Guardian. The news comes from the results of a study in New Zealand that found people…

WHO issues warning about rise of drug-resistant gonorrhoea

Friday Jul 7 2017

"Gonorrhoea fast becoming 'untreatable', WHO experts warn," reports Sky News. Analysis of data from 77 countries by the World Health Organization (WHO) found antibiotic resistance exists against almost all antibiotics…

Toothpaste ingredient linked to antibiotic resistance

Wednesday Jul 5 2017

"A common ingredient of soap and toothpaste could be causing antibiotic resistance and fuelling the spread of superbugs," the Mail Online reports. This news follows the results of a study that…

Heartburn drugs linked to premature death

Tuesday Jul 4 2017

"Millions of people taking common heartburn and indigestion medications could be at an increased risk of death," The Guardian reports after a US study found people taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)…

'Painless' flu vaccine skin patch shows promise

Wednesday Jun 28 2017

"A 'painless' sticking plaster flu jab that delivers vaccine into the skin has passed important safety tests in the first trial in people," BBC News reports. Results of a small phase 1 trial were encouraging, with no serious side effects reported…

Does paracetamol taken in pregnancy affect masculinity?

Friday Jun 23 2017

"Taking paracetamol when pregnant 'makes boys less manly, less aggressive and lowers their sex drive'," reports The Sun. But the alarming headline doesn't explain that the research was in mice, not humans. Researchers gave daily doses...

Risk of aspirin-related bleeding is higher in the over-75s

Wednesday Jun 14 2017

"People over 75 taking daily aspirin after a stroke or heart attack are at higher risk of major – and sometimes fatal – stomach bleeds than previously thought," BBC News reports. Aspirin can help thin the blood, so it is…

Beta-blockers 'useless' for many heart attack patients, study reports

Tuesday May 30 2017

"Many patients given beta blockers after a heart attack may not benefit from being on the drugs, suggesting they may be being overprescribed," The Guardian reports. Beta-blockers are drugs used to regulate the heart by making it beat…

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…

Ibuprofen linked to increased risk of heart attacks

Wednesday May 10 2017

"Taking painkillers for just one week 'raises the risk of a heart attack'," the Daily Mail reports. The report is based on a new analysis that found a link between anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen and heart attack risk…

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