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'Rebooted' stem cells may lead to new treatments

"Scientists have managed to 'reset' human stem cells," the Mail Online reports. It is hoped studying these cells will provide more information about the mechanics of early human development. This headline comes from a laboratory study that reports to have found a way to turn the clock back on human stem cells so they exhibit characteristics more similar to seven- to nine-day-old embryonic cel

Could meditation help combat migraines?

“Daily meditation may be the most effective way of tackling migraine,” the Daily Express reports. This headline is not justified, as it was based on a small pilot study involving just 19 people.It showed that an eight week "mindfulness-based stress reduction course" (a combination of mediation and yoga-based practices) led to benefits in measures of headache duration and subsequent disabil

Pregnant drink binges harm kids' mental health

“Binge drinking ONCE during pregnancy can damage your child's mental health and school results,” says the Mail Online. The headline follows an analysis of results from a study including thousands of women and their children. In analyses of up to 7,000 children, researchers found that children of women who engaged in binge drinking at least once in pregnancy, but did not drink daily, had sligh

Weight discrimination study fuels debate

Much of the media has reported that discriminatory “fat shaming” makes people who are overweight eat more, rather than less.The Daily Mail describes how, “telling someone they are piling on the pounds just makes them delve further into the biscuit tin”. While this image may seem like a commonsense “comfort eating” reaction, the headlines are not borne out by the science. In fact, the news

'Food addiction' doesn't exist, say scientists

“Food is not addictive ... but eating is: Gorging is psychological compulsion, say experts,” the Mail Online reports. The news follows an article in which scientists argue that – unlike drug addiction – there is little evidence that people become addicted to the substances in certain foods.Researchers argue that instead of thinking of certain types of food as addictive, it would be more us

Bacteria found in honey may help fight infection

“Bacteria found in honeybee stomachs could be used as alternative to antibiotics,” reports The Independent.The world desperately needs new antibiotics to counter the growing threat of bacteria developing resistance to drug treatment. A new study has found that 13 bacteria strains living in honeybees’ stomachs can reduce the growth of drug-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA, in the laboratory.

Hundreds report waking up during surgery

“At least 150, and possibly several thousand, patients a year are conscious while they are undergoing operations,” The Guardian reports. A report suggests “accidental awareness” during surgery occurs in around one in 19,000 operations. The report containing this information is the Fifth National Audit Project (NAP5) report on Accidental Awareness during General Anaesthesia (AAGA) – that is, w

Prescription sleeping pills linked to Alzheimer's risk

“Prescription sleeping pills … can raise chance of developing Alzheimer's by 50%,” reports the Mail Online.This headline is based on a study comparing the past use of benzodiazepines, such as diazepam and temazepam, in older people with or without Alzheimer’s disease. It found that the odds of developing Alzheimer’s were higher in people who had taken benzodiazepines for more than six months.

Sibling bullying linked to young adult depression

“Being bullied regularly by a sibling could put children at risk of depression when they are older,” BBC News reports. A new UK study followed children from birth to early adulthood. Analysis of more than 3,000 children found those who reported frequent sibling bullying at age 12 were about twice as likely to report high levels of depressive symptoms at age 18. The children who reported si

Regular walking breaks 'protect arteries'

“Just a five-minute walk every hour helps protect against damage of sitting all day,” the Mail Online reports. A study of 12 healthy but inactive young men found that if they sat still without moving their legs for three hours, the walls of their main leg artery showed signs of decreased flexibility. However, this was “prevented” if the men took five-minute light walking breaks about every ho

Ebola vaccine hope after successful animal study

“Hopes for an effective Ebola vaccine have been raised after trials of an experimental jab found that it gave monkeys long-term protection,” The Guardian reports. An initial animal study found that a new vaccine boosted immunity. Ebola is an extremely serious and often fatal viral infection thst can cause internal bleeding and organ failure.It can be spread via contaminated body fluids suc

Wearing a bra 'doesn't raise breast cancer risk'

“Scientists believe they have answered the decades long debate on whether wearing a bra can increase your risk of cancer,” reports The Daily Telegraph. There is an "urban myth" that wearing a bra disrupts the workings of the lymphatic system (an essential part of the immune system), which could lead to a build-up of toxins inside breast tissue, increasing the risk of cancer. New research sugg

Gay people have 'poorer health' and 'GP issues'

“Lesbians, gays and bisexuals are more likely to have longstanding mental health problems,” The Independent reports, as well as “bad experiences with their GP”. A UK survey found striking disparities in survey responses compared to heterosexuals. The news is based on the results of a survey in England of more than 2 million people, including over 27,000 people who described themselves as gay,

1 in 5 child deaths 'preventable'

“One in five child deaths ‘preventable’,” reports BBC News.The headline was prompted by the publication of a three-part series of papers on child death in high-income countries published in The Lancet.The reviews outlined the need for child death reviews to identify modifiable risk factors, described patterns of child mortality at different ages across five broad categories. These were per

How immunotherapy may treat multiple sclerosis

“Breakthrough hope for MS treatment as scientists discover how to ‘switch off’ autoimmune diseases,” reports the Mail Online.Autoimmune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), occur when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue by mistake.The “holy grail” of treatment is to make the immune system tolerant to the part of the body that it is attacking, while stil

Claims e-cigarettes are a 'gateway to cocaine'

“E-cigarettes could lead to using cocaine and cannabis scientists say,” the Daily Mirror reports. In an article sure to prove controversial, two neuroscientists argue that nicotine may "prime" the brain to become addicted to harder drugs, such as cocaine. The story comes from an article that argues that nicotine alters the brain’s circuitry, lowering the threshold for addiction to other su

What is proton beam therapy?

Proton beam therapy has been discussed widely in the media in recent days. This is due to the controversy surrounding the treatment of a young boy called Ashya King, who has medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer.Ashya was reportedly taken abroad by his parents to receive proton beam therapy.But what does proton beam therapy involve, and can it treat cancer effectively?How does proto

Missing breakfast linked to type 2 diabetes

"Skipping breakfast in childhood may raise the risk of diabetes," the Mail Online reports. A study of UK schoolchildren found that those who didn’t regularly eat breakfast had early signs of having risk markers for type 2 diabetes.The study found that children who did not usually eat breakfast had 26% higher insulin resistance than children who always ate breakfast. High insulin resistance in

Lumpectomy 'as effective as double mastectomy'

“Double mastectomy for breast cancer 'does not boost survival chances' – when compared to breast-conserving surgery," The Guardian reports. The news is based on the results of a large US cohort study of women with early stage breast cancer in one breast.It found that the 10-year mortality benefit associated with bilateral mastectomy (removal of both breasts) was the same as breast-conservi

Could watching action films make you fat?

“Couch potatoes captivated by fast-paced action films eat far more than those watching more sedate programmes,” The Independent reports. A small US study found that people snacked more when watching action-packed movies. The study took 94 US student volunteers and randomly assigned them in groups to watch 20 minutes of either the action film “The Island” with sound, the same film without s

Brain can be 'retrained' to prefer healthy foods

“The brain can be trained to prefer healthy food over unhealthy high-calorie foods, using a diet which does not leave people hungry,” reports BBC News. It reports on a small pilot study involving 13 overweight and obese people who, aside from their weight, were described as being in good health.Researchers looked at whether a dietary weight loss programme, known as the iDiet, could change

Heart failure drug could 'cut deaths by a fifth'

“A new drug believed to cause a 20 per cent reduction in heart failure deaths could present a 'major advance' in treatment,” The Independent reports. The drug, LCZ696, helps improve blood flow in heart failure patients. Heart failure is a syndrome caused by the heart not working properly, which can make people vulnerable to serious complications. A new study compared LCZ696 with an existin

Students 'showing signs of phone addiction'

“Students spend up to 10 hours a day on their mobile phones,” the Mail Online reports. The results of a US study suggest that some young people have developed an addiction to their phone. Mobile or “cell” phone addiction is the habitual drive or compulsion to continue to use a mobile phone, despite its negative impact on one’s wellbeing. The authors of a new study suggest that this can occ

Study finds plain cigarette pack fears 'unfounded'

"Cigarette plain packaging fear campaign unfounded," reports The Guardian.After Australia introduced plain packaging laws in 2012, opponents of the legislation argued it would lead to a number of unintended consequences, including:*the market would become flooded by cheap Asian brands *smokers would be more likely to buy illegal unbranded tobacco (including raw unbranded loose tobacco k

Claims magnetic brain stimulation helps memory

“Magnetic brain stimulation treatment shown to boost memory,” The Guardian reports. A new study found that magnetic pulses improved recall skills in healthy individuals. It is hoped that the findings of this study could lead to therapies for people with memory deficits such as dementia.Researchers investigated the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) every day for five days on c

Tomato-rich diet 'reduces prostate cancer risk'

“Tomatoes ‘cut risk of prostate cancer by 20%’,” the Daily Mail reports, citing a study that found men who ate 10 or more portions a week had a reduced risk of the disease. The study in question gathered a year’s dietary information from 1,806 men who were found to have prostate cancer and 12,005 who were clear after random prostate checks. The researchers compared the diets and adjusted the

Depression therapy aids other cancer symptoms

"Depression therapy could help cancer patients fight illness," reports The Daily Telegraph. The headline follows a study of intensive treatment of clinical depression given to people who had both depression and cancer – delivered as part of their cancer care. It found that not only did people’s mood improve, but cancer-related symptoms such as pain and fatigue were also reduced compared to

Does weight loss surgery affect dementia risk?

"Weight loss surgery 'reduces chance of Alzheimer's disease'," reports The Daily Telegraph. This misleading headline reports on a small Brazilian study of severely obese women before and after weight loss surgery. None of the women had any signs or symptoms of Alzheimer's.Seventeen women with an average body mass index (BMI) of 50kg/m² had neuropsychological tests, blood tests and a brain sca

Antidepressant use in pregnancy linked to ADHD

“Pregnant women who take anti-depressants 'could raise their child's risk of ADHD',” reports the Mail Online, saying that this could explain “the rise in children with short attention spans”.The study in question compared children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) with children without these conditions. It found that children with ADHD,

Common bacteria could help prevent food allergies

"Bacteria which naturally live inside our digestive system can help prevent allergies and may become a source of treatment," BBC News reports after new research found evidence that Clostridia bacteria helps prevent peanut allergies in mice. The study in question showed that mice lacking normal gut bacteria showed increased allergic responses when they were given peanut extracts. The resear


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