Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Does light at night pose a health risk?

Monday Mar 16 2015

Warning issued over potential health dangers of light at night

"Britons should fit blackout blinds and ban electronic gadgets from the bedroom to avert the risk of diseases such as cancer," the Mail Online warns…

Do people with depression perceive time differently?

Friday Mar 13 2015

Do people with depression perceive time differently?

"How depression affects our sense of time: Hours drag on and even stand still," is the somewhat over-hyped headline from the Mail Online. As the old saying goes – Time flies when you’re having fun. So does the reverse also ring true?…

Loneliness 'increases risk of premature death'

Friday Mar 13 2015

Loneliness increases risk of premature death

"Loneliness as big a killer as obesity and as dangerous as heavy smoking," the Daily Express reports. Researchers pooled the results of previous studies, estimating that loneliness can increase the risk of premature death by around 30%...

UK Ebola case confirmed but risk remains low

Thursday Mar 12 2015

Ebola threat to the UK is 'very low'

The Scottish nurse found to have Ebola after arriving in Glasgow from Sierra Leone has recovered after specialist care at the Royal Free Hospital in London ...

Ultrasound 'breakthrough' in treating Alzheimer’s - in mice

Thursday Mar 12 2015

Ultrasound 'breakthrough' in treating Alzheimer’s in mice

"Alzheimer's breakthrough as ultrasound successfully treats disease in mice," The Guardian reports. New research found high-energy sound waves helped remove abnormal clumps of proteins from the brains of mice, and also improved their memory…

Diet, exercise and brain training may help keep the mind 'sharp'

Thursday Mar 12 2015

Diet, exercise and brain training may help prevent dementia

"Dancing, doing Sudoku and eating fish and fruit may be the way to stave off … mental decline," The Guardian reports. A Finnish study suggests a combination of a healthy diet, exercise and brain training may help stave off mental decline...

Autism-related genes linked to cognitive ability

Wednesday Mar 11 2015

Autism shares genes also associated with high intelligence

"Autism is linked to higher intelligence," the Mail Online reports. A new study found evidence that certain genetic variations associated with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) were linked to greater cognitive ability in non-autistic individuals…

Genetic high cholesterol 'may help protect against type 2 diabetes'

Wednesday Mar 11 2015

High cholesterol 'may help protect against type 2 diabetes'

"High cholesterol LOWERS the risk of diabetes," is the Daily Mail's rather misleading headline, going on to say that, "New study reveals why taking statins may be harmful"…

HRT review finds increased risk of blood clots and stroke

Tuesday Mar 10 2015

HRT review finds increased risk of blood clots and stroke

'Women on HRT pills should be aware that there is a small chance of an increased risk of blood clots and possibly stroke' BBC News report. A major review, involving over 40,000 patient records, found an increase in risk of clotting….

A diet rich in veg and fish may reduce bowel cancer risk

Tuesday Mar 10 2015

A diet rich in veg and fish may reduce bowel cancer risk

"Becoming a pescetarian can protect against bowel cancer, new research suggests," the Mail Online reports. The US study found people who mainly eat fish and vegetables, and small quantities of meat, had a significantly reduced risk of bowel cancer…

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

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...