Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Whooping cough vaccine for pregnant women

Friday Sep 28 2012

Whooping cough and pregnancy - new advice issued

"Pregnant women are to be given the whooping cough vaccine for the first time following the biggest outbreak of the disease for 20 years and the deaths of 10 babies," The Daily Telegraph has reported…

'Smart drug' offers breast cancer hope

Tuesday Oct 2 2012

New smart drug offers breast cancer hope

“New ‘smart’ breast cancer drug gives an extra six months of life and stops loss of hair,” states the headline in the Daily Mail. The news is based on the publication of the results of a new trial for treatment of a type of breast cancer...

Hip resurfacing 'not suitable' for women

Tuesday Oct 2 2012

Hip resurfacing 'not suitable' for women

“Surgeons should stop carrying out a common type of hip replacement operation on women because of ‘unacceptably high’ failure rates,” The Daily Telegraph has reported. The current news is based on a large study that...

Could less sleep increase teen diabetes risk?

Monday Oct 1 2012

All night gaming sessions could increase teens’ diabetes risk

“Teenagers who stay up all night playing video games could be putting themselves at increased risk of diabetes,” the Daily Mail has reported. This story is based on a study that assessed sleep length and insulin...

Huge rise in gout cases

Monday Oct 1 2012

Gout, 'disease of kings', is making a return

'Disease of kings' is on the rise as more people get gout because of rising rates of obesity, according to the Daily Mail. Gout is a condition that causes pain and swelling in the joints. It often affects the big toe but can affect larger joints...

Widely used sleeping pill 'increases dementia' risk

Friday Sep 28 2012

Widely used sleeping pill 'increases dementia' risk

Sleeping pills taken by millions are linked to dementia, according to The Daily Telegraph. As an estimated 10 million to 11 million prescriptions for benzodiazepines are reported to be issued...

Acrylamide in frozen chips 'cancer risk'

Friday Sep 28 2012

Pre-cooked chips 'can cause cancer'

'Frozen chips could be a cause of cancer, according to new claims' The Daily Telegraph reports after researchers found that a substance found in pre-cooked chips may be carcinogenic. So are you also serving up cancer with your portion of french fries?..

Mice give clue to 'self-repairing skin'

Thursday Sep 27 2012

Could animal research lead to 'self-repairing skin'?

“‘Scar free healing’ in mice may give clues to human skin repair,” BBC News has reported. The broadcaster says that scientists are interested in figuring out “how the healing takes place and if it could apply to people”.

Drug 'breakthrough' for children with premature ageing disease progeria

Thursday Sep 27 2012

Drug breakthrough for children with 'Benjamin Button' disease

“Tremendous breakthrough drug shows promise in treating children with a rare and fatal disease,” the Daily Mail has reported. The story is based on a small trial...

New optical technique that 'can see under skin'

Wednesday Sep 26 2012

New optical technique that 'can see under skin'

'Doctors could be able to 'see' under patients' skin' the Daily Mail speculates after new research into a 'groundbreaking' new optical technique was announced. The technique, optical coherence tomography, could 'eliminate need for biopsies'…

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...

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.

Miracle Foods: myths and the media

Each day there's a new crop of possibly life-changing headlines about how food affects our health. Read our report on the health properties of food.

Alcohol, myths and the media

Can lager help you live longer? Can wine help you lose weight? We take a sober look at the media’s claims about alcohol, and what the science actually says

Miracle cure or scam?

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

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

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 theses stories

Link to Couch to 5K running plan

Couch to 5K running plan

Download the podcasts to go from total beginner to running 5K in just nine weeks

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