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

Investment: The drugs don't work

The best biotech companies should offer huge rewards to both investors and to society. But in these risk-averse times, they're being starved of funds. By Alistair Dawber

Ark gains on hopes for cancer drug

Ark Therapeutics, the gene therapy group, gave the beleaguered UK biotech industry a shot in the arm yesterday when it said that the third phase trial of its brain cancer treatment, Cerepro, has shown good initial results and that it now expects to be able to market the drug by next year.

DNA faults hold key to schizophrenia

Scientists have identified three faults in human DNA that are linked with schizophrenia in a study that could open the way to a fundamental understanding of an illness that affects one in every hundred people at some time in their lives.

Sanofi buys Acambis for £276m

The French drugs giant Sanofi-Aventis is buying the British vaccine-maker Acambis for £276m in the latest round of consolidation in the biotech sector.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Roche in danger of killing the golden goose

If it ain't broke, why break it? Roche's $43.7bn cash offer for the outstanding minority in Genentech risks upsetting a model partnership between big pharma and innovative biotech, an apparently perfect marriage of Roche's marketing might with Genentech's unmatched record in cancer drug discovery, including the breast cancer drug Herceptin. Yet here comes old clumsy clogs with a low ball bid for its beautiful young soulmate.

Natural England warns Brown of dangers in promoting GM crops

Gordon Brown and the Government are today given a blunt warming about their new enthusiasm for genetically-modified crops and food by the head of the Government's own countryside and wildlife agency.

Risk-averse investors threaten drug development

New drug development by the biotechnology industry is threatened by increasingly risk-averse investors and intensifying competition from generic rivals, a survey shows.

Biotech giants demand a high price for saving the planet

Companies accused of 'profiteering' as they attempt to patent crop genes

You Write The Reviews: Natural Selection, Theatre 503, London

Wales is no longer Wales and indecisive middle-aged men need therapy for fear of choosing the wrong pasta sauce. At first, you don't quite know where you are, or where you might be going in Natural Selection. Here is much of our world and its issues, but skewed, shaken up and remade into an alternative universe that melds ineffectual terrorists with archaeological digs and evolution theory with the material concerns of the consumer age.

Vexille (12A)

From the creators of the 2004 anime hit Appleseed comes this hi-tech parable about depersonalisation. In the mid-21st century Japan has become savagely isolationist, while it pursues dangerous experiments in biotechnology.

AstraZeneca blames customer cut backs for disappointing results

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca posted what analysts considered to be disappointing first-quarter sales figures yesterday, but said that its full-year earnings growth was on track to meet expectations.

Last Night's TV: They've got a place in the heart of England

The Poles Are Coming! BBC2; Bionic Woman, ITV2

Vernalis loses CEO and US business in shake-up

Peter Fellner, the executive chairman of Vernalis, has orchestrated a huge restructuring at the loss-making biotechnology company that will see it retreat from America, cut more than half of its workforce, and result in the departure of its chief executive.

Gerard Fairtlough: Entrepreneur in biotechnology

Gerard Fairtlough began his career as an organisation man, spending 25 years with Royal Dutch Shell, but he later acquired a taste for entrepreneurial action and became an inspiration to emerging businesses. In 1980 he set up the biotechnology company Celltech, heading the firm as chief executive until 1990.

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