Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Four rare diseases added to newborn screening

Monday May 12 2014

Newborn screening for four diseases set to be launched

"Newborn babies to be tested for rare diseases," reports BBC News online. The news is based on an announcement by the UK's National Screening Committee (NSC)…

Breastfeeding 'cuts childhood asthma risk'

Wednesday May 7 2014

Breastfeeding 'protects against child asthma'

“Breastfeeding DOES cut the risk of asthma, says landmark study of 250,000 babies over 30 years,” the Mail Online reports. A major review has found a link between breastfeeding and reduced childhood asthma rates.

Smacking children 'doesn’t work,' study finds

Friday May 2 2014

Smacking children 'doesn’t work' study finds

"Parents smack their children more than they admit - and it doesn’t improve behaviour," the Mail Online reports. A study, involving audio recordings in homes, found that on average, children who were smacked, started "acting up" again after 10 minutes…

Teen boy sunbed use linked to eating disorders

Monday Apr 7 2014

Teen boy sunbed use linked to eating disorders

'Teenage men who regularly use sunbeds are more prone to eating disorders' the Metro reports. A study finds that teen tanning fans are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviour such as using laxatives and vomiting after meals…

Probiotics 'no good' at treating infant colic

Wednesday Apr 2 2014

Probiotics 'no good' at treating infant colic

"Probiotics 'don't ease' baby colic," the Mail Online reports. A small, though well-conducted, study suggests that probiotics – "friendly bacteria" – could actually make symptoms worse…

Smoke-free laws linked to improved child health

Friday Mar 28 2014

Smoke-free laws linked to improved child health

"Laws banning smoking in public places have had a positive impact on child health," BBC News reports. Researchers found lower rates of premature births and severe asthma cases in countries with a smoking ban…

Could a DNA test predict obesity risk in children?

Thursday Mar 27 2014

DNA test could assess obesity risk in children

"A DNA blood test can predict obesity levels in children as they grow up, scientists claim," the Metro reports. The test, which is based on measuring "switches" in DNA, may help identify children who would benefit from early intervention…

NICE: 'schools should provide morning-after pill'

Wednesday Mar 26 2014

'Schools should provide morning-after pills,' says NICE

New guidelines on contraceptive services for young people issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have prompted widespread coverage. The headlines have focused on a number of elements, with The Daily Telegraph…

Study fails to prove effects of stress on fertility

Monday Mar 24 2014

Stress’s effects on fertility studied

"Stress can double the risk of infertility for women," the Daily Mail reports. But the evidence provided by the study it reports on is not as clear-cut as the reporting implies…

Scarlet fever cases on the rise in England

Friday Mar 21 2014

Scarlet fever cases on the rise in England

"More than 3,500 cases of scarlet fever – the vast majority in children – have been reported since September," The Daily Telegraph reports. The news follows a warning from public health officials, that cases of scarlet fever among children...

What is Behind the Headlines?

What is Behind the Headlines?

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