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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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game