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

Mikel Arteta: 'I looked down at my leg and thought, oh God...'

Mikel Arteta tells Tim Rich about the rare infection that kept him out of football for 11 months, and why it was 'embarrassing' to watch Everton lose without him

Did Charles Darwin get it wrong?

After all the Darwin celebrations, a controversial new book aims to undermine major parts of his scientific legacy. Peter Forbes looks at the arguments and asks scientists if the critics have a case

Alex James: Running in the woods has its ups and downs

Rural Notebook

Plasma jet 'could replace dentist's drill'

A futuristic "plasma jet" that eradicates tooth decay without fillings could be replacing the dentist's drill in as little as three years, a study claims.

Legionnaire's disease investigation at under-fire hospital

Health chiefs were today investigating a possible outbreak of legionnaires' disease at a hospital which was recently under scrutiny for blood-splattered equipment and an unusually high patient mortality rate.

Disinfectants make stronger superbugs

Disinfectants designed to keep bacteria out of homes and hospitals could be fuelling the growth of superbugs. Scientists found that exposing infectious bacteria to increasing amounts of disinfectant turned the bugs into hardy survivors. The bacteria also developed resistance to the antibiotic, ciprofloxacin – despite not having previously encountered the drug.

Mother of twins with E. coli attacks petting farm

Boys in hospital with kidney failure among victims of outbreak

E. coli outbreak: thousands of children at risk

Manager of farm where victims contracted disease says he did nothing wrong

Bug resistant to antibiotics enters UK

Health experts are warning that a new bug which is resistant to antibiotics has been brought into the UK by patients treated abroad.

Swine flu girl died of septic shock

A six-year-old girl with swine flu died of septic shock following a bout of tonsilitis, it was announced today.

Wetlands, By Charlotte Roche

Charlotte Roche's novel Feuchtgebiete created a minor literary scandal, when it was published in Germany last year. More exactly translated as "moist patches", this debut is an upfront riposte to the evils of "raunch culture" – a Teutonic paean to all things female, hairy and swampy.

Bug holds key to alien life

A tiny purple bug discovered three kilometres under Greenland ice has been reawakened from a slumber lasting more than 100,000 years.

Microbes found miles beneath Greenland ice given new life

Discovery raises hopes of lifeforms enduring harsh conditions on other planets

How the human skin is a des res for bacteria

Study reveals astonishing number and range of microbes on our bodies

Raw seafood warning after mussels scare

A warning about the dangers of eating raw or lightly cooked seafood was issued today after cholera bugs were found in Norwegian mussels.

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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 15 May 2015
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate