News Tim Berners-Lee invited an atheist minister to present Thought for the Day

Atheist minister says he had been invited by the founder of the worldwide web Sir Tim to present but had been blocked by BBC senior management

Small Talk: Soaring agricultural prices help farmers lead the Alternative Investment Market

Even the casual observer does not have to try too hard to find evidence of woe in various sectors on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim). For some time (and it has occasionally been chronicled in this column) various companies in high risk sectors like oil and gas exploration and biotechnology have struggled from a lack of funding and all too often business plans that assume too much on the upside.

Investment Column: Oil finds back investment case for Tullow

Ark Therapeutics; Chime Communications

Investment Column: Investors will get security with G4S stock

Tullett Prebon; Axis-Shield

Genentech rejects fresh Roche bid

Pharmaceuticals The Swiss giant Roche was rebuffed yesterday in its $42bn (£29bn) hostile bid to buy the shares it does not already own in the US biotech group Genentech.

Allen appointed to spearhead Proximagen's licensing drive

Peter Allen will be named as the new non-executive chairman of Proximagen Neuroscience this morning in a move that the group hopes will spearhead its consolidation of parts of the biotech industry.

Investment Column: Sales figures turn sour for Thorntons

Axis-Shield; Alexon

Professor Sir David Lane FRS

In our article “Biotech breakthroughs Britain failed to exploit” (6 December 2008) we stated that Sir David Lane of Dundee University discovered the breast cancer gene BRCA1. Sir David Lane did not discover the BRCA1 gene. Sir David Lane is known for his contribution to the discovery of the P53 protein.

Biotech breakthroughs Britain failed to exploit

Leading players in the UK biotech sector say the market has failed to secure the industry's future and are calling for the government to step in. Steve Connor and Alistair Dawber report

Jeremy Warner: Biotech faces funding crisis

Outlook: A high-level group of entrepreneurs, business leaders and scientists, including Sir Christopher Evans and Sir Richard Sykes, is warning that the financial crisis threatens meltdown in Britain's once-thriving biotech industry unless the Government steps into the breach with alternative funding. Welcome to the club. Just about every industry in the land is holding out the begging bowl right now.

My Book Of A Lifetime: The Life of Vertebrates, By JZ Young

I do not know if JZ Young was a religious man, but The Life of Vertebrates has the gravitas of a sacred text. The animals and bits thereof, depicted in drawings neat as woodcuts, are esoterica. It's a textbook – albeit, Young assures us, a very personal one. As a great book should, it intrigues as much as informs. Always, it implies there are layers of meaning beneath what can be summarised and that, no matter how deeply we probe, life remains mysterious.

Government to defy critics with secret GM crop trials

Ministers are drawing up plans for genetically-modified crops to be grown in secret and more secure locations to prevent trials being wrecked by saboteurs.

<i>IoS</i> letters, emails & texts (12 October 2008)

Prince Charles's assertions that suicides in India have been exacerbated by the introduction of GM are gratuitous and deeply worrying ("Charles targets GM crop giants in fiercest attack yet", 5 October). As Geoffrey Lean rightly points out, suicides were occurring long before GM crops were introduced, and we cannot condone using the tragic situation faced by some farmers in India for political point-scoring by NGOs.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone