Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Report warns of threat to unborn babies from CMV virus

Tuesday Jun 30 2015

Report warns of threat to unborn babies from 'stealth virus' CMV

"Thousands of pregnant women are unwittingly passing on infections to their unborn babies that cause severe disabilities," is the headline in the Daily Mail after a new report highlighted the risks cytomegalovirus (CMV) can pose to pregnancies…

Women with history of stillbirth at 'high risk of another'

Friday Jun 26 2015

Women with history of stillbirth at 'high risk for another'

“Women who suffer stillbirths are four times more likely to suffer the tragedy again,” the Daily Mirror reports. Researchers warn that women with a history of stillbirth should be regarded as being at high risk of another...

Meningitis B vaccine 'available from September'

Monday Jun 22 2015

Meningitis B vaccine 'available from September'

"All newborn babies in England and Scotland are to be offered a vaccine to combat meningitis B from September," BBC News reports. This will be the world’s first publicly funded vaccination programme for the potentially fatal disease…

Too soon to say if breastfeeding problems could be genetic

Thursday Jun 18 2015

Too soon to say if breastfeeding problems could be genetic

"Is your inability to breastfeed written in your genes?" the Mail Online asks. The question is prompted by animal research that discovered that a genetic mutation in a protein called ZnT2 that may restrict milk production after pregnancy…

Does owning a cat put your family at risk of schizophrenia?

Monday Jun 15 2015

Does owning a cat put your family at risk of schizophrenia?

“Scientists have discovered a link between people who own cats and the development of mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, and believe a parasite may be to blame,” The Independent reports…

Woman gives birth using ovaries she had frozen as a child

Wednesday Jun 10 2015

Woman gives birth using ovaries she had frozen as a child

"A young woman in Belgium has become the first to give birth to a healthy baby after having her fertility restored by a transplant of ovarian tissue that was removed and frozen when she was a child," The Guardian reports…

Depression 'starts in the womb' claim is unproven

Friday Jun 5 2015

Depression 'starts in the womb' claim is unproven

"The seeds of depression can be sown in the womb," is the claim in the Mail Online. A study did find that depression during pregnancy was linked to an increased risk of depression in adult offspring, but this could be due to a range of factors…

Children with autism may be supersensitive to change

Friday Jun 5 2015

Children with autism may be super-sensitive to change

"People with autism … are over-sensitive to the world," the Mail Online reports. It reports on an animal study involving a rat model of autism, where a chemical is used to mimic the development of autism in rats…

Cats blamed for children’s poor reading skills

Tuesday Jun 2 2015

Cats blamed for children’s poor reading skills

"Parasite in cats linked to learning difficulties in children," The Daily Telegraph reports. A new study suggests that cat ownership increases the risk of Toxoplasma gondii parasite infection, which could affect cognitive functioning in children…

Did the English smoking ban stop 90,000 children getting ill?

Friday May 29 2015

Smoking was banned in all public places in England in 2007

"90,000 children spared illness by smoking ban," reports the Daily Mail. This impressive-seeming statistic is based on research looking at how many under-14s ended up in hospital with respiratory infections in the years...

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...

Superfoods: the evidence

We examine the evidence behind the health claims of the most popular superfoods

Clinical trials and medical research

Clinical trials explained, including how to take part in one and why medical research is important

Atlas of risk

NHS Atlas of Risk

Compare cause of death and health risks based on age, sex and where you live

Strength and Flex

Download our Strength and flexibility podcast series and get a free personal trainer