Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Zika virus: your questions answered

Wednesday Feb 10 2016

The World Health Organization reports that the Zika virus has now spread through both South and Central America and expects three to four million people to be infected in 2016. So what is the Zika virus and what steps can you take to protect yourself?

Paracetamol use in pregnancy and infancy linked to child asthma

Wednesday Feb 10 2016

"Babies given paracetamol are nearly a third more likely to develop asthma," the Mail Online reports. The study the news is based on also found a link between maternal use of the painkiller in pregnancy, and childhood asthma…

UK regulators give go-ahead for 'embryo editing'

Tuesday Feb 2 2016

"UK scientists have been given the go-ahead by the fertility regulator to genetically modify human embryos," BBC News reports. The UK body that regulates research into embryos…

Playground equipment contains toxic levels of lead paint

Monday Jan 25 2016

"Paint on playground equipment has been found to contain high amounts of the toxin lead – up to 40 times recommended levels," BBC News reports. Researchers sampled levels at 26 playgrounds in the south of England…

Paternal depression linked to premature birth

Thursday Jan 21 2016

"Depression in expectant fathers linked to premature births," The Independent reports. A Swedish study found a link between paternal depression occurring for the first time and an increased risk of very premature birth…

Are ads for candy-flavoured e-cigs tempting teens to vape?

Monday Jan 18 2016

"Advertisements for … flavoured e-cigarettes could encourage children to try vaping," ITV News reports after a study found children shown these ads were more likely to express an interest in trying flavoured e-cigs…

A potato-rich diet before pregnancy could up diabetes risk

Wednesday Jan 13 2016

"Eating potatoes before pregnancy increases risk of diabetes," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers found a small, but significant, increase in gestational diabetes risk in mothers who ate a potato-rich diet before their pregnancy…

Antidepressant paroxetine use linked to risk of birth defects

Wednesday Jan 6 2016

"Antidepressant 'does increase your baby's risk of birth defects if taken in first 12 weeks of pregnancy','' the Mail Online reports. A study of previous data suggests the commonly used antidepressant paroxetine…

Infertility treatments 'not linked' to developmental delays

Tuesday Jan 5 2016

"There is no heightened risk of developmental delays … in children conceived through IVF or other infertility treatments," the Mail Online reports. A study found that the numbers of children affected…

Failure to fortify flour with folic acid 'led to 2,000 birth defects'

Friday Dec 18 2015

"UK experts are backing the call for flour to be fortified with folic acid – a move which they say would have prevented about 2,000 cases of serious birth defects since 1998," BBC News reports…

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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