Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Watching 'Dad's Army' won't stop you going blind

Wednesday Nov 12 2014

Researchers used eye mapping software to identify glaucoma

"Fancy an episode of Dad's Army? How watching TV and films can save your eyesight," is the curious headline in the Daily Express...

Genes tweaked to 'starve' prostate cancer cells

Tuesday Nov 11 2014

Prostate cancer is one of the commonest cancers in men

"Prostate cancer could be 'halted' by injections," reports The Independent. While this headline rather simplifies the research findings, the research it's based on demonstrates an interesting way to stop prostate cancer – for mice, at least...

Long-term cannabis users brains 'are different'

Tuesday Nov 11 2014

Cannabis users were given MRI scans

"Cannabis use 'shrinks and rewires' the brain," reports The Daily Telegraph, with much of the media reporting similar "brain rewiring" headlines...

Anxiety affects children in different ways

Monday Nov 10 2014

Teens and children may have different needs resulting from their anxiety

"Teenage anxiety: Tailored treatment needed," BBC News reports, saying a "one-size-fits-all approach to treating teenagers with anxiety problems may be putting their futures at risk." The news is based on research that looked at...

Are pollution and attention problems related?

Monday Nov 10 2014

This study did not prove that pregnant women's exposure to pollution affects their children

"Could ADHD be triggered by mothers being exposed to air pollution while pregnant?," asks the Mail Online. Pregnant women have enough to worry about, without going round in a gas mask or moving to the country. Fortunately...

Stem cells could repair Parkinson's damage

Friday Nov 7 2014

Stem cells could repair Parkinson's damage

"Stem cells can be used to heal the damage in the brain caused by Parkinson's disease," BBC News reports following the results of new Swedish research in rats...

Norovirus returns: advice is to stay away from GP

Friday Nov 7 2014

Norovirus returns; stay away from GP advice

"If you've got winter vomiting bug, stay at home," the Mail Online advises. The return of the norovirus has prompted advice for those with a suspected infection to stay away from GPs and hospitals, as there is little they can do to help…

Fruit chemical may prevent organ damage

Thursday Nov 6 2014

Injections of fruit chemical repairs organ damage

"Could fruit help heart attack patients? Injection of chemical helps reduce damage to vital organs and boosts survival," reports the Daily Mail – "at least in rodents," it should have added…

Does having a hobby help you live longer?

Thursday Nov 6 2014

Does having a hobby help you live longer?

"Having a hobby can add YEARS to your life," The Daily Express reports. The headline is prompted by an international study that looked at ageing and happiness. The study found older people who reported the greatest sense of purpose in life survived…

Smoking increases risk of chronic back pain

Wednesday Nov 5 2014

Smoking 'increases risk of chronic back pain'

"Smokers are three times more likely to suffer from back pain," the Mail Online reports. The headline was prompted by the results of a recent study, which involved observing 68 people with sub-acute back pain…

Miracle cure or scam?

Will an online miracle cure really provide the answer to your health problem?

Health anxiety (hypochondria)

Most of us worry about our health from time to time. But for some people, this worry never goes away and becomes a problem in itself

Stem cell research in the news

Stem cells are often portrayed in the media as a miracle cure for many serious conditions and disabilities. We analyse the facts behind these stories

Miracle Foods: myths and the media

Can a curry save your life? Read our report on the supposed health benefits of common foods

Video: the placebo effect

Watch Ben Goldacre explain what the placebo effect is and describes its role in medical research and in the pharmaceutical industry

Your NHS Health Check

Millions of people have already had their free "midlife MOT". Find out why this health check-up is so important

How to read health news

How to read health news

Fact or fiction? Killer or cure? We show you how to look Behind the Headlines.

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...