Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Brought to you by the
NHS Knowledge Service

Research into blood test for premature birth

Tuesday Sep 6 2011

“A blood test which could tell mothers if they are at high risk of giving birth prematurely could be available soon,” reports the Daily Mail. This story is based on a study that aimed to identify differences in the proteins present...

Brain clots linked to elderly walking problems

Tuesday Sep 6 2011

“Tiny clots in the brain may be the cause of some signs of old age such as stooped posture and restricted movement,” reports the BBC. This story is based on a study that assessed movement problems in older people...

Scale of mental health problems examined

Monday Sep 5 2011

“Europeans are plagued by mental and neurological illnesses, with almost 165 million people or 38% of the population suffering each year from a brain disorder such as depression, anxiety, insomnia or dementia...

New TB vaccine investigated

Monday Sep 5 2011

A “new vaccine offers hope of a tuberculosis breakthrough”, reported The Independent today. The newspaper said that the existing vaccine against TB (the BCG vaccine) "provides some protection against childhood...

Stroke stem cell trial extended

Friday Sep 2 2011

The world’s first clinical trial of brain stem cells to treat stroke has recorded no adverse effects to date, BBC News has reported. The BBC website reports that research using stem cells to treat strokes “is set to...

Bread 'often high in salt'

Friday Sep 2 2011

“Popular loaves of bread contain as much salt in every slice as a packet of crisps and some are as salty as seawater,” The Daily Telegraph has today reported. These estimates are based on a survey...

Mice fed yoghurt 'less depressed'

Thursday Sep 1 2011

Bacteria found in yoghurt could stave off depression, according to the Daily Mail. The newspaper says that “good” bacteria found in the dairy product have the potential to alter brain chemistry and may help in...

Engineered virus 'attacks cancer cells'

Thursday Sep 1 2011

The BBC reports that an “‘anti-cancer virus’ shows promise”, and that “an engineered virus, injected into the blood, can selectively target cancer cells throughout the body”. This news is based on research that used a...

Low health risk from bird flu

Wednesday Aug 31 2011

The United Nations has this week warned of a possible global resurgence of the bird flu virus, which has been widely covered in the media. News sources, such as the BBC, have also reported the circulation of a...

Coral studied for sunscreen abilities

Wednesday Aug 31 2011

The Daily Express reported today that a “pill that stops you getting sunburn” could “prevent thousands of skin cancer deaths” and be “widely available in the UK within five years”.

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We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, chief knowledge officer of the NHS, explains more...

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