Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Babies born on the weekend have slightly higher death risk

Wednesday Nov 25 2015

"Babies delivered at the weekend are significantly more likely to die or suffer serious injury," reports the Daily Mail. While the increase in risk is both significant and an obvious cause for concern, it is a very small increase…

Study calls for smartphones and tablets to have 'bedtime mode'

Monday Nov 16 2015

"Smartphones, tablets and e-readers should have an automatic 'bedtime mode' that stops them disrupting people's sleep," BBC News reports. The concern is the devices emit short-wavelength blue light, which may disrupt the production of melatonin…

Gene editing breakthrough in treating baby’s leukaemia

Friday Nov 6 2015

"Baby girl is first in the world to be treated with 'designer immune cells'," The Guardian reports. Pioneering work carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital made use of a novel technique known as genome editing…

Growing up with a dog 'reduces childhood asthma risk'

Tuesday Nov 3 2015

"Children who grow up with a pet dog in the family home have a lower risk of developing asthma," The Times reports. A large Swedish study found an association between pet ownership and reduced risk of asthma…

Essure sterilisation implant has 'high risk' of complications

Wednesday Oct 14 2015

"According to US experts, women given Essure were ten times more likely to need a later operation than if they had undergone surgical sterilisation", the Daily Mail reports. Research found around 1 in 50 women with the implant required further surgery…

Does surfing the internet raise your blood pressure?

Thursday Oct 8 2015

"American researchers discovered a link between internet use and high blood pressure [in teens]," The Independent reports. But the study did not actually find heavy internet use was associated with high blood pressure...

Frozen ovarian transplants 'safe and effective'

Wednesday Oct 7 2015

"Ovarian tissue transplants for women who want to have a baby after cancer treatment appear to be safe and are very successful," The Guardian reports after a small Danish study found the technique has around a 1 in 3 pregnancy success rate…

Doctors should 'wait longer' before diagnosing miscarriage

Friday Sep 25 2015

'Doctors are being advised to wait longer before they diagnose a miscarriage' Guardian reports. A new study found evidence that suggest women should be given a second ultrasound scan, two weeks after the first, to confirm the diagnosis…

'No significant link' between breastfeeding and higher IQ

Thursday Sep 24 2015

"Breastfeeding has no benefit over bottle feeding when it comes to a child's IQ," the Daily Mail says, reporting on the results of a study that found no significant link between breastfeeding and increased intelligence…

Antidepressant paroxetine study 'under-reported data on harms'

Thursday Sep 17 2015

"Seroxat [paroxetine] study under-reported harmful effects on young people, say scientists," The Guardian reports. Researchers have reanalysed data about the antidepressant paroxetine…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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