Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Call to tackle maternal blood infection risk

Wednesday Jul 9 2014

Risk of blood infection in labour 'overlooked'

“Pregnant women and new mothers need closer attention for signs of potentially fatal sepsis, a study says,” reports BBC News. While still rare, sepsis – a blood infection – is now the leading cause of maternal death in the UK...

Tests can predict teens most likely to binge drink

Thursday Jul 3 2014

Tests can predict teens likely to binge drink

“A single glass of wine or beer at the age of 14 can help a young teenager along the path to binge drinking,” the Daily Mail warns. But having a single drink does not mean a child is bound to become a “binge boozer”…

Kids who know their fast food logos 'grow up fat'

Tuesday Jul 1 2014

Kids who know their fast food logos 'grow up fat'

"Children who recognise fast food brands are more likely to be obese," the Mail Online reports. The headline is based on a US study that investigated whether there was an association between obesity and brand awareness in children…

Give kids water not fruit juice, parents advised

Thursday Jun 26 2014

Give kids water not fruit juice, parents advised

“Ban all drinks but water from dinner table, parents told,” is the The Daily Telegraph's front page headline. Obviously, the government is unlikely to directly intervene in our diets in such a draconian way. In fact…

Teens could be given whooping cough booster

Wednesday Jun 25 2014

Teens may need whooping cough booster

“One in five children who see a doctor with a persistent cough may have…whooping cough, new research indicates,” The Independent reports. These findings have sparked calls for teenagers to be given a booster dose of the vaccine.

Possible pesticide link to autistic disorders

Monday Jun 23 2014

Pesticides linked to autistic disorders

"Pregnant women who live near fields sprayed with pesticides can run more than three times the risk of having a child with autism," the Mail Online reports. New research raises concerns that exposure to pesticides may impact on a pregnancy…

Pre-teen girls have 'easy access' to e-cigarettes

Friday Jun 20 2014

Pre-teen girls have 'easy access' to e-cigarettes

“Children 'addicted to sweet tasting e-cigarettes',” is the alarmist headline in the Daily Mirror. A survey has found that a few pre-teen girls in Wales have experimented with the devices, but there is no evidence of widespread addiction…

MMR jab unlikely to harm young babies

Friday Jun 20 2014

MMR vaccination is generally safe for babies

A young couple's baby was given the MMR jab by mistake "potentially putting her life at risk", The Daily Telegraph website reports misleadingly. Giving a baby the wrong vaccine is a serious mistake; fortunately the error…

Antidepressant suicide warnings 'backfired'

Thursday Jun 19 2014

Antidepressant suicide warnings 'backfired'

"Antidepressant suicide warnings 'may have backfired','' BBC News reports. Media reports about an alleged risk of suicide in the young taking antidepressants appears to have led to a drop in antidepressant use and a corresponding rise in suicide attempts…

Key protein in childbirth contractions identified

Wednesday Jun 18 2014

Protein that triggers labour 'identified,' media claims

"Australian scientists discover protein that triggers child birth," the Mail Online reports. The protein (β-inhibitory protein) is thought to cause the uterus to contract and could possibly be used to induce labour in obese women...

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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