Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'Vaginal seeding' may put newborns at risk of infection

Wednesday Feb 24 2016

"'Vaginal seeding' of babies born by C-section could pose infection risk," The Guardian reports. The practice of exposing babies born by caesarean section to their mother's vaginal fluid in an effort to boost their immunity…

Daily diet of almonds is no magic solution for weight loss

Wednesday Feb 24 2016

"Desperate to lose weight?" asks the Mail Online. "Eat almonds! Handful a day 'wards off hunger and replaces empty calories from junk food'," it says, entirely without any justification, as the study it reports on didn't look at weight…

Mobile phone use 'linked to poor sperm quality'

Monday Feb 22 2016

"Men who talk on their mobile phones for an hour a day 'are twice as likely to have low sperm quality'," the Daily Mail reports. Is the use of smartphones damaging men's sperm? The quick answer, based on the results of this study, is we don't know...

Evidence of link between Zika virus and birth defect 'boosted'

Thursday Feb 18 2016

"Brazilian study boosts theory that Zika causes birth defect," The Guardian reports. Researchers have detected the virus in amniotic fluid surrounding two unborn babies known to have abnormally small heads (microcephaly)…

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…

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 made about 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

Strength and Flex

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