Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Possible pesticide link to autistic disorders

Monday Jun 23 2014

Pesticides linked to autistic disorders

"Pregnant women who live near fields sprayed with pesticides can run more than three times the risk of having a child with autism," the Mail Online reports. New research raises concerns that exposure to pesticides may impact on a pregnancy…

Pre-teen girls have 'easy access' to e-cigarettes

Friday Jun 20 2014

Pre-teen girls have 'easy access' to e-cigarettes

“Children 'addicted to sweet tasting e-cigarettes',” is the alarmist headline in the Daily Mirror. A survey has found that a few pre-teen girls in Wales have experimented with the devices, but there is no evidence of widespread addiction…

MMR jab unlikely to harm young babies

Friday Jun 20 2014

MMR vaccination is generally safe for babies

A young couple's baby was given the MMR jab by mistake "potentially putting her life at risk", The Daily Telegraph website reports misleadingly. Giving a baby the wrong vaccine is a serious mistake; fortunately the error…

Antidepressant suicide warnings 'backfired'

Thursday Jun 19 2014

Antidepressant suicide warnings 'backfired'

"Antidepressant suicide warnings 'may have backfired','' BBC News reports. Media reports about an alleged risk of suicide in the young taking antidepressants appears to have led to a drop in antidepressant use and a corresponding rise in suicide attempts…

Key protein in childbirth contractions identified

Wednesday Jun 18 2014

Protein that triggers labour 'identified,' media claims

"Australian scientists discover protein that triggers child birth," the Mail Online reports. The protein (β-inhibitory protein) is thought to cause the uterus to contract and could possibly be used to induce labour in obese women...

Are 'career girl' lifestyle abortions on the rise?

Friday Jun 13 2014

Some women delay or avoid having kids to focus on a career or lifestyle

Media sources have reported on the "career girl" abortion (Daily Mail) or "lifestyle" abortion (The Daily Telegraph) after figures released by the Department of Health showed...

'Super-mums' at risk of depression

Thursday Jun 12 2014

'Super-mums' at risk of depression

"'Super-mums' … may be more likely to suffer from depression, researchers say," the Mail Online reports. A US study found a possible association between concern about being perceived as a perfect parent and maternal depression risk…

'Male hormones' in womb linked to autism

Wednesday Jun 4 2014

'Male hormones' in womb linked to autism

"Boys who develop autism may be exposed to higher levels of hormones…in the womb," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers found a link between elevated hormones in amniotic fluid and autism…

You can train a toddler to eat veggies, study claims

Monday Jun 2 2014

You can train a toddler to eat veggies, study claims

“Children can learn to eat new vegetables if they are introduced regularly before the age of two,” BBC News reports. A new study suggests that the key is to introduce them 'early and often'…

Fresh hope in hunt for malaria vaccine

Friday May 23 2014

Fresh hope for malaria vaccine

“A group of children… naturally immune to malaria are helping scientists to develop a new vaccine,” BBC News reports. Researchers hope the children could be key to developing a viable vaccine for malaria…

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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