Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Obesity damage to eggs may be reversible

Wednesday Feb 11 2015

Obesity damages women’s eggs, effect may be reversible

"Damaging effect of obesity on a woman’s eggs can now be reversed," is the misleading headline from the Mail Online today. The over-egged headline refers to a mouse, not human, study looking at obesity and fertility…

Teen screen time linked to less sleep

Tuesday Feb 3 2015

Teen screen time linked to poorer sleep

"Teenagers sleep less when they have more computer screen time says study," The Guardian reports. A Norwegian study found an association between the use of any type of electronic screen device in the evening and disrupted sleep patterns…

Child obesity rates are 'stabilising'

Friday Jan 30 2015

Child obesity rates are 'stabilising'

"The rise in childhood obesity … may be beginning to level off," BBC News reports. Researchers examined trends in child and adolescent rates of overweight and obesity using electronic GP records from 1994 to…

Thousands of UK women could benefit from 'three-person' IVF

Thursday Jan 29 2015

Thousands of UK women could benefit from 'three-person' IVF

"Thousands of women could benefit from 'three-parent' baby technique," The Independent reports. A modelling study estimated the technique, which is currently illegal, could be used for thousands of women with genes linked…

Sugary soft drinks linked to earlier periods in girls

Wednesday Jan 28 2015

Sugary soft drinks linked to earlier periods in girls

"Sugary drinks may cause menstruation to start earlier, study suggests," The Guardian reports. A US study found that girls drinking more than one and a half drinks a day had their period around three months earlier than girls drinking two or less a week…

Gift vouchers can help pregnant smokers quit

Wednesday Jan 28 2015

Gift vouchers can help pregnant smokers quit

"Offering shopping vouchers worth a total of £400 to pregnant smokers makes them more likely to quit the habit, say researchers," BBC News reports...

Claims that 'men worsen labour pains' are unproven

Thursday Jan 22 2015

Claims that its 'official' men worsen labour pains are unproven

"It’s official: men really shouldn’t be at the birth," is the bizarre headline in The Times, as it reports on a pain study on women who were not even pregnant, let alone giving birth…

Nordic IVF outcomes improving - is the same true for the UK?

Wednesday Jan 21 2015

Scandinavian IVF outcomes improving - same true for UK?

"The health of artificially conceived children has steadily improved in the last 20 years," The Guardian reports. Researchers who analysed data from Nordic countries described the decline in premature and stillbirths as "remarkable"…

Napping 'key' to babies' memory and learning

Tuesday Jan 13 2015

Naps 'key' to infant learning and memory

"The key to learning and memory in early life is a lengthy nap, say scientists," BBC News reports. The scientists were interested in babies' abilities to remember activities and events. They carried out a study…

How 'baby talk' may give infants a cognitive boost

Friday Jan 9 2015

How 'baby talk' gives infants a cognitive boost

"Say 'mama'! Talking to babies boosts their ability to make friends and learn," the Mail Online reports. In a review, two American psychologists argue that even very young infants respond to speech, and that "baby talk" is essential for their development…

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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