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Study offers insight into genetics of schizophrenia

"More than 100 schizophrenia genes have been pinpointed," reports the Daily Mail. In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers have gained further insights into the genetics of the condition, which it is hoped could lead to new treatments.Researchers have identified genetic differences at 108 positions in the genome (the complete set of DNA that "defines" an individual organism) tha

Probiotics 'may improve blood pressure'

“Eating probiotics may lower blood pressure,” The Daily Telegraph reports.Probiotics, so-called “friendly bacteria”, have been found to moderately reduce blood pressure in a new study.The study is what is known as a systematic review, which is essentially a study of studies. Researchers combined the results of nine randomised controlled trials (regarded as the “gold standard” in evidence-b

HIV 'reservoirs' may form earlier than expected

"Early HIV drugs 'may not stop virus'," BBC News reports. The report is based on a study of HIV treatments in monkeys, and has been linked by the BBC to the emergence of HIV in a four-year-old girl thought to have been cured of the virus as the result of treatment from birth – the so-called "Mississippi girl".HIV infection levels in the blood can be managed through antiretroviral therapy (ART

Could new potential treatment mean safer IVF?

“Dozen babies born using 'safer' IVF treatment,” reads today’s headline in The Independent. This headline was based on a new study providing proof of concept that the natural hormone kisspeptin-54 could be used to stimulate egg maturation in women requiring in vitro fertilisation (IVF).The modified IVF treatment on trial, which is hoped to be safer than standard IVF, led to 12 healthy babi

Obese women may have 'food learning impairment'

"Obese women show signs of food learning impairment," is the headline on the BBC News website.It reports on a behavioural study involving 67 individuals of normal weight and 68 obese individuals. Each participant was shown a series of either blue or purple squares, and then asked to predict whether the square would yield a reward. Depending on the phase of the experiment, this would be a p

'More adults should be taking statins,' says NICE

"Doctors have been told to offer cholesterol-lowering statins to millions more people," BBC News reports. New guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend lowering the bar for statin use in adults at risk of heart disease. NICE suggests up to 8,000 lives could be saved every three years if everyone with a 10% risk of developing cardiovascular disea

Steroid asthma inhalers restrict children’s growth

“Children who use inhalable steroids for asthma grow slower than their peers in the first year of taking the medication,” The Guardian reports. While this is an accurate report of the science, the effect found by researchers was small. On average, a reduction of around half a centimetre per year was seen, compared to children taking a placebo or other asthma medication.The researchers were st

Protein may help control diabetes symptoms

"Diabetes could be cured 'in single jab'," is the misleading headline in the Daily Express. The news comes from an exciting new mouse study which found promising results for a treatment for type 2 diabetes. However, the study did not show that it would cure diabetes, and certainly not after a single injection.Researchers performed experiments in mice using a protein called fibroblast growt

Owning a dog may make older adults fitter

“Want to appear 10 years younger? Just buy a dog,” is the dubious claim on the Mail Online. A study has found a link between dog ownership and increased physical activity in older adults, but how this is linked to looking younger is unclear. Contrary to the headline, the study did not measure or mention physical appearance.The study actually measured physical activity levels of 547 olde

Prediabetes label unhelpful, experts argue

“Pre-diabetes label ‘worthless’, researchers claim,” reports the BBC.The headline is based on an opinion piece published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) by John Yudkin and Victor Montori, both of whom are professors of medicine. They argue that diagnosing people with “prediabetes” puts people at risk of unnecessary medicalisation and creates an unsustainable burden on healthcare syste

Study explores effect of plain cigarette packs

"Long-term smokers find the taste of plain-packaged cigarettes worse than that of branded cigarettes," The Guardian reports. The news comes from Australian research into the impact of plain packaging and health risk warnings on packets of cigarettes and anti-smoking TV adverts. The researchers found highly emotive warnings were more likely to capture the attention of the study's participan

Spoons lead to inaccurate medicine doses for kids

“Using a spoon to measure medicine for children can lead to potentially dangerous dosing mistakes,” the Daily Mail reports.Parents have long been instructed to provide liquid medication to their children in dosages measured using teaspoons and tablespoons. The rationale behind the advice is that this provides a quick and easy way for parents to calculate the correct dose.However, a new stu

Sex addiction affects brain in 'same way as drugs'

“Is compulsive sexual behaviour comparable to drug addiction?” asked The Guardian today. This and other related headlines came from a UK study that looked at brain scans of 19 men with compulsive sexual behaviour (CSB) while they watched either sexually explicit, erotic or non-sexual videos. CSB is a not a well-established diagnosis as it does not have a formal, universally accepted, defin

'Exercise may help prevent Alzheimer's disease'

"Cut Alzheimer's risk by walking," the Daily Mail recommends. This advice is prompted by a statistical modelling study looking at population attributable risks (PARS) – factors known to influence the prevalence of a disease, such as Alzheimer's, at a population level. The seven risk factors researchers looked at included diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, lack of exercise, obesity, depre

Offer weight loss surgery to diabetics, says NICE

"An expansion of weight loss surgery in England is being proposed to tackle an epidemic of type 2 diabetes," BBC News reports. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended obese people with type 2 diabetes should be offered weight loss (bariatric) surgery.These draft guidelines include new recommendations about the treatment of obesity. In particular, NICE advi

Vasectomy-associated prostate cancer risk 'small'

“Men who have the snip increase their risk of suffering fatal prostate cancer, according to research,” the Daily Mail reports. However, while the increase in risk was found to be statistically significant, it was small in absolute terms.The newspaper reports on a US study that followed 49,405 men over 24 years, a quarter of whom had had a vasectomy.It compared the risk of prostate cancer i

Obesity link for siblings

“Children are five times more likely to become obese if their older brother or sister is overweight,” reports the Daily Mail. There is a widespread assumption that a significant risk factor for child obesity is if they have one or both parents who are obese.A new US study suggests that a more influential risk factor may be if a child has a brother or sister (or both) who are obese. A st

Malaria parasites can 'hide' inside bone marrow

“Malaria parasites can hide inside the bone marrow and evade the body's defences, research confirms,” BBC News report. It is hoped that this insight into the activities of the parasites could lead to new treatments.While most people associate malaria with mosquitoes, the disease is actually caused by tiny parasites called Plasmodium, which infect mosquitoes and spread the infection to huma

Call to tackle maternal blood infection risk

“Pregnant women and new mothers need closer attention for signs of potentially fatal sepsis, a study says,” reports BBC News. While still rare, sepsis – a blood infection – is now the leading cause of maternal death in the UK.Sepsis can potentially be very serious, as it can cause a rapid fall in blood pressure (septic shock), which can lead to multiple organ failure. If untreated, sep

Cycling linked to prostate cancer, but not infertility

"Men who cycle more than nine hours a week are … more likely to develop prostate cancer," the Mail Online inaccurately reports. The story comes from the publication of an online survey into cycling in the UK and its effects on health outcomes. Researchers were particularly interested in whether frequent cycling was linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, infertility and erectile dysfu

Gene mutation linked to distinct type of autism

“Have scientists found the autism gene?" asks the Mail Online. The news is based on a genetic study that found children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were more likely to have a mutation in a gene called CHD8 than children without the disorder. ASD is an umbrella term for conditions affecting social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour.However, talk of a single autis

New Alzheimer’s test may help future clinical trials

“Research in more than 1,000 people has identified a set of proteins in the blood which can predict the start of the dementia with 87% accuracy,” BBC News reports. The primary goal of the test was to predict whether people with mild cognitive impairments (usually age-related memory problems) would go on to develop “full-blown” Alzheimer’s disease over approximately a year.There is currentl

Two-question test for alcohol misuse 'effective'

“Do you regularly have more than six drinks in one sitting? Or do you regret a drunken escapade that took place in the past year? Answering yes to both questions may be a sign that you have a drink problem," the Mail Online reports. This comes following a systematic review, which is, essentially, a study of studies. The review aimed to examine whether short and quick screening approaches (

Aggressive breast cancer protein discovered

"A breakthrough by scientists could lead to a new treatment for one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer," the Mail Online reports. Researchers have identified a protein called integrin αvβ6, which may help trigger the spread of some types of breast cancer.Up to a third of breast cancers are HER2-positive cancers. These are cases of breast cancer where growth is driven by a protein c

Children’s TV contains unhealthy 'food cues'

“Children are being bombarded with scenes of unhealthy eating on TV,” The Independent reports. Researchers looking at public broadcasting in the UK and Ireland have found that children’s TV contains a high number of visual and verbal references to unhealthy foods.In the UK, direct TV advertising of unhealthy food to children has been banned since 2008. However, the researchers were still i

Headbanging could damage your (Motör)head

“German doctors are highlighting the dangers of headbanging after a 50-year-old man developed bleeding in the brain following a Motörhead concert,” BBC News reports.The news is based on a case report in The Lancet about a man who developed a subdural haematoma. A subdural haematoma occurs when a blood vessel in the space between the skull and the brain splits apart. This is a serious condi

Lab-grown corneas could prevent blindness

“Scientists regrow corneas in breakthrough that could pave the way for a cure for blindness,” reports the Mail Online. Researchers in the US have found a way to identify the stem cells that renew the cornea (the clear layer that covers the front of the eye), and have used them to grow normal corneas in mice.These stem cells – called limbal stem cells (LSCs) – are known to be the basis

Tests can predict teens most likely to binge drink

“A single glass of wine or beer at the age of 14 can help a young teenager along the path to binge drinking,” the Daily Mail warns. But having a single drink does not mean a child is bound to become a “binge boozer”. That is just one of around 40 factors researchers have identified which they claim can be used to predict whether a teenager will grow up to become a binge drinker.These facto

Frozen testicle tissue produces mice offspring

“A sample of frozen testicle has been used to produce live offspring in experiments on mice,” BBC News reports. While this may seem like a strange study to conduct, the aim is to preserve the fertility of boys affected by childhood cancers such as acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.Side effects of treatments for these types of cancer, such as chemotherapy, can result in infertility.Currently

Parents of autistic kids 'have autistic traits too'

"Parents of children with autism are more likely to have autistic traits," the Mail Online reports. The news comes from research comparing the families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with those that are unaffected.Parents and children with ASD completed Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) questionnaires designed to detect traits known to be associated with the condition. The News | Awards & Certificates | Promote Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Uninstall Info

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