It will be difficult – but not impossible – to detect the chemical breakdown products of any nerve agents that may have been used in the Damascus attack, but access to the victims could be critical in proving the illicit use of chemical weapons.

'Evil' duo jailed for life over sadistic murders

A dangerous knife thug freed from jail by mistake was today jailed for life with a minimum of 40 years for the "sadistic" murders of two brilliant French students.

Carola Long: 'Body scrubs need to be intensive to counteract the lizard-like skin induced by cold British weather'

Exfoliation is the first step in any summer metamorphosis, especially one involving fake tan. After all, you wouldn't start repainting a wall – a job which is about as exciting as applying bronzer – without stripping the manky old plaster first. However, when it comes to exfoliation, stripping is the last thing one wants; rather, it's key to find a product that creates an even surface for the colour to take to without damaging the skin.

Postgraduate Lives: 'Companies use enzymes to change their products'

Nathaniel Saidu, 25, is doing an MSc in biocatalysis at the University of Exeter

Court told of French students' 'inhuman' murders

Two French students were tortured and murdered in a London flat in a scene of "almost unimaginable horror" when a burglary at their home went wrong, a court heard today.

Murder suspect burgled French students' home

A man accused of murdering two French students during a frenzied attack at a London house admitted today he had carried out a burglary at the property.

Quadriplegic sailor challenges elements again

Fundraiser aims to sail solo around the British Isles aided by 'sip and puff' controls

How does architecture affect academic study?

Jay Merrick visits a cutting-edge lab in Oxford to find out

How the smell of rotten eggs makes men randy

Scientists take eight transsexuals and a whiff of hydrogen sulphide to begin making an alternative to Viagra

Breakthrough could lead to new prostate cancer test

A newly discovered molecule linked to aggressive prostate cancer could open the door to better ways of tracking and treating the disease, say scientists.

Professor Sir James Baddiley: Biochemist who applied his understanding of organic chemistry to problems in biology

The biochemist James Baddiley was a master of experimentation, with an intuitive ability to deal with the vagaries of organic compounds. Although he was an organic chemist by training, his research brought him increasingly into the field of biochemistry and biology. When each new problem presented itself, he learned or devised the experimental techniques necessary for its solution. He used the methods and insight of the organic chemist to answer important questions in biology, notably with regard to coenzyme structure and function, and the structure of bacterial cell walls.

Enzyme discovery may hold key to cancer treatments

A major discovery could open the door to "one-fits-all" cancer drugs that can tackle many different forms of the disease.

Hal Dixon: Cambridge biochemist

Hal Dixon was a biochemist, a Life Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, who was cleverer than most of his colleagues, enthusiastic and energetic, but who never achieved the heights of scientific success that his abilities merited. But he was a wonderful colleague, friend and teacher.

Man, 21, arrested over murder of French students

A 21-year-old man was arrested in the early hours of yesterday in connection with the murders of the French students Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez.

Laurent and Gabriel: a friendship that blossomed on an exchange programme

They were two students who came to London from France to study, and had agreed to extend their stay by a month because they were enjoying it so much.

So, Long John Silver, where did the leg go?

A prequel to 'Treasure Island' will give one author's answers to questions posed by Robert Louis Stevenson's classic
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own