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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