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

Errors & Omissions: You really ought to think carefully before using the word 'real'

Whenever you find yourself writing the word "real", pause for a moment: you should probably cut it out.

Fifty per cent of restaurants use dishcloths that could make you ill

Half of restaurants and takeaways harbour high levels of bacteria which can cause food poisoning, new research shows.

Test offers hope of tuberculosis breakthrough

A blood test that can tell doctors whether someone is likely to develop the active and dangerous form of tuberculosis has become a realistic possibility.

Scientists reveal bacteria have 'noses'

Common bacteria have "noses" that respond to smells, scientists said.

Breakthrough in meningitis scourge

Genetic factors behind the deaths of children struck down by meningitis have been identified for the first time. Experts hope the breakthrough will boost development of vaccines that protect against the deadliest strain of meningitis bacteria.

The miracle spray-on glass that stops the bugs

Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool is coating the toys in its wards with a revolutionary form of "liquid glass" that has proven in trials to reduce the number of disease-causing bacteria living on the surface of objects.

DNA analysis key to beating MRSA

The genes of common bacteria could yield a "treasure trove" of therapeutic drugs to combat the growing problem of drug-resistant bacteria, a leading scientist said yesterday.

In mint condition: Can you cure halitosis in the sweet shop?

If you neglected to brush your teeth this morning, you're not alone. More and more of us are instead relying on an ever-increasing variety of breath-freshening products. But are the sugar-free confections on our shelves really an alternative to old-fashioned oral hygiene and the dreaded visit to the dentist? Nick Duerden investigates

Marlon Lewis: The vast majority of action in the sea is carried out by these microscopic organisms

Aswell as being the food stock for ocean life, it is a vast geochemical factory. Our atmosphere is almost entirely derived from its activity 2.5 billion years ago

Curry spices for cows and sheep could cut methane emissions

Curry spices could hold the key to reducing the enormous greenhouse gas emissions given off by grazing animals such as sheep, cows and goats, scientists have claimed.

Caesarean babies prone to disease

Giving birth by Caesarean section may leave a baby vulnerable to disease and allergy by upsetting its natural balance of bacteria, scientists believe.

Windscreen water could be legionnaires' disease risk

Motorists who do not use screenwash for their windscreen wipers risk getting potentially deadly legionnaires' disease, a study revealed today.

Bacteria may help police identify suspects

Police forces may soon be able to add another forensic tool to their armoury following a study showing that it is possible to identify a person from the bacteria they leave behind after touching an inanimate object such as a computer keyboard or telephone.

Revealed: the 160 species living inside our guts

Scientists have decoded the DNA of the bacteria that take up residence in the typical human body
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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
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Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash