Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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)…

'Poo in a pill' may help treat C. difficile infection

Monday Oct 13 2014

'Poo in a pill' may help treat C. difficile infection

“Capsules containing frozen faecal material may help clear up C. difficile infections,” BBC News reports. While the prospect may sound stomach-churning, swallowing somebody else’s "poo" may help treat symptoms such as chronic diarrhoea…

Antibiotic resistance continues to rise

Friday Oct 10 2014

Antibiotic resistance continues to rise

"Antibiotic resistance continues to rise," BBC News reports as, despite warnings, the number of antibiotic prescriptions in the UK continues to soar, as do new cases of resistant bacteria…

Green tea compound may improve cancer drugs

Monday Oct 6 2014

Green tea compound may improve cancer drugs

"Green tea could helps [sic] scientists develop new cancer fighting drugs," the Mail Online reports. Before you rush out to the shops, in no way does this study suggest green tea can fight cancer. Instead, research has found a compound in green tea…

Viagra 'may cause visual disturbance' in some men

Wednesday Oct 1 2014

Viagra 'may cause eye damage' in some men

"Viagra may permanently damage vision in some men, study finds," reports The Guardian. But the news is, in fact, based on research in mice. This research suggests the medication may not be suitable for men who carry a gene mutation…

Will a 'wonder drug' be available in 10 years?

Monday Sep 29 2014

Claims of a cure-all wonder drug 'available in 10 years'

"Wonder drug to fight cancer and Alzheimer's disease within 10 years," is the headline in The Daily Telegraph. This headline is a textbook example of hope (and hype) triumphing over reality…

Cherry juice touted as treatment for gout

Monday Sep 29 2014

Cherry juice touted as treatment for gout

“Daily drinks of cherry juice concentrate could help thousands of patients beat gout,” the Mail on Sunday reports. This headline is based on a small study that found drinking tart cherry juice twice a day temporarily lowered the blood uric acid levels…

Antibiotic treatments 'fail' 15% of the time

Friday Sep 26 2014

Around one in seven antibiotic treatments fail

"Antibiotic treatments from GPs 'fail 15% of the time','' BBC News reports. In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers estimate that just under one in seven antibiotic prescriptions in 2011 failed to treat the underlying infection…

Benefits of statins 'outweigh diabetes risk'

Wednesday Sep 24 2014

Statins increase weight and diabetes risk

“Statins increase risk of diabetes but benefits are still worth it, say experts,” The Guardian reports. A large study found the medication lead to a modest increase in weight and subsequent diabetes risk…

Bacteria found in honey may help fight infection

Thursday Sep 11 2014

Bacteria found in honey may help fight infection

"Bacteria found in honeybee stomachs could be used as alternative to antibiotics," reports The Independent. The world desperately needs new antibiotics to counter the growing threat of bacteria developing resistance...

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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