News This 1348 painting shows how plague devastated European cities like Florence

Black rats are also implicated in both outbreaks, which took place 800 years apart

Google's Doodle commemorates Julius Richard Petri

This will grow on you: Google Doodle celebrates 161st birthday of Julius Richard Petri - inventor of the Petri dish

Google is commemorating the achievements of the scientist Julius Richard Petri today with a Google Doodle that shows his invention - the Petri dish - in action.

Scientists create protein 'superglue' from flesh-eating bacteria that could help detect cancer

The terms ‘flesh-eating bacteria’ and ‘good news’ do not normally go together, but a group of researchers from the University of Oxford believe they have engineered a protein from flesh-eating bacteria that acts as a molecular ‘superglue’ and could be used to help detect cancer cells.

All the major food groups: carbohydrates, protein, fat, bacteria...

If you’re reading this while eating breakfast and you happened to drop your toast on the floor, you might want to stop (eating, that is, not reading).

Woese in 1961 with a model of the ribonucleic acid chain

Professor Carl Woese: Scientist whose work revealed the 'third domain' of life

Carl Woese was a biophysicist and microbiologist who uncovered the "third domain" of life, with the detection of archaea. In doing so he redrew the taxonomic tree and proved that all life on Earth is related.

You thought the horse meatballs were bad... Ikea withdraws cakes over 'faecal matter'

Ikea, the world’s leading flat-pack furniture retailer, has withdrawn chocolate almond cake sold in its stores in 23 countries after it was found to contain sewage bacteria.

Study shows hospital antibiotics gave rise to spread of superbug

Widespread use of antibiotics in hospitals triggered the emergence of two resistant strains of the Clostridium superbug which has killed thousands of people worldwide over the past two decades, a study has shown.

The bacterium Clostridium difficile takes over the gut of patients taking antibiotics, causing severe bowel problems and even death

Overuse of hospital antibiotics led to deadly superbug outbreak

Global epidemic of C. difficile that killed thousands were caused by two separate strains

What is meningitis?

The meningitis bacterium lives harmlessly in the noses and throats of one in 10 people but,  for reasons that are not fully understood, can erupt into a  life-threatening illness  that causes inflammation of the membrane  around the brain – the “meninges” – and can lead to death within hours.

What is septicaemia?

If Savita Halappanavar’s condition was an obstetric emergency, as has been described, then her doctors were under a duty to do whatever was necessary to save her life, even if that meant sacrificing the life of the foetus.

Marmite 'may help fight superbug'

A Marmite ingredient could help doctors defeat the MRSA superbug, research suggests.

Seaweed 'could fight tooth-decay'

Microbes found on seaweed could provide an unexpected weapon in the fight against tooth decay, scientists have said.

Rise in Legionnaires' disease cases

The number of cases of Legionnaires' disease recorded in a deadly outbreak has risen again.

Colgate censured for misleading advert

The firm behind the Colgate brand has been reprimanded by the advertising watchdog for wrongly implying that one of its toothpastes has the backing of health professionals.

US man critical after contracting bubonic plague

Man contracted the disease after being bitten whilst attempting to get a mouse away from a stray cat

Gonorrhoea 'may become untreatable'

Gonorrhoea may become "untreatable" as drug-resistant strains are spreading across Europe, health officials said.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
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Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

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Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk