News

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.

A dose of belief

Medical science finds the placebo hard to swallow. But researchers have plenty of evidence for the mind's beneficial effect on real physical symptoms.

Feel it in your bone cells

Bones, it turns out, are rather like brains: their cells signal to each other to tell them when to grow. This could be good news for osteoporos is sufferers, writes Simon Hadlington

Clocks call time on Britain's Indian summer

Charge up your Seasonal Affective Disorder lamps, stock up on anti-freeze and warm your socks, for the end of the Indian Summer is nigh. Winter is upon us, with its associations of crumpets by the fire but also the threat of SAD and the dreaded countdown to Christmas.

Obituaries: Mark Efimovitch Vol'pin

Mark Efimovitch Vol'pin was a chemist of genius and one of Russia's leading scientists. He started his career as an organic chemist, then moved into organometallic chemistry, and ended it in bio-organic chemistry. From 1988 he was the director of the A.N. Nesmeyanov Institute of Organo- element Compounds (INEOS) of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

SCIENCE: HOLDING BACK THE YEARS (MAYBE)

Gene therapy could one day provide a treatment for cancer, or even halt the human ageing process, claim those who are developing this fledgeling science. But in America John Hands discovers commercial interests and intellectual rivalries are causing dissent

Obituary: Professor Thomas ap Rees

Thomas ap Rees, Professor of Botany and Head of Plant Sciences at Cambridge, was killed on 3 October cycling the six or so miles home from work - something he did almost every night of his life in Cambridge.

Books: Something nasty in the cistern

What if Hitler hadn't been born? Hugo Barnacle investigates; Making History by Stephen Fry Hutchinson, pounds 15.99

A lost mother, a lost world; BOOK REVIEW

The Scent of Dried Roses Tim Lott Viking, pounds 16

OBITUARY : Norman Aldridge

Norman Aldridge was regarded by his peers as one of the most thoughtful and influential toxicologists of our time.

Obituary: A. G. Ogston

Alexander George ("Sandy") Ogston had a gentle but critical mind. He conveyed to his Oxford undergraduate students, of whom I was one, the need to keep in mind a simple question that is still relevant after half a century - "Is the conclusion sensible?"; or, as he would have put it, "Is it thermodynamically reasonable?"

Letter: Germ war

The arrogance of the Darwinian doctors never ceases to amaze me. For the past few decades, they have supported a system of medicine based largely on drug suppression of symptoms, and totally derided everything else. Now, according to Kenan Malik ("Why illness means health", Review, 23 June), they claim credit for common-sense ideas one can read any day in journals sympathetic to alternative and complementary medicine.

The mystery unfolds ...

Cracking the 'folding' code of protein molecules could help us to tackle such diseases as Alzheimer's, says Simon Hadlington

obituaries: Professor Geoffrey Dawes

May I add briefly to the obituaries of Professor Geoffrey Dawes [by Professor C.W.G. Redman and Dr John Walker, 16 May]? writes Professor Gustav Born.

How in-laws could save your life

Asha was successful. She had everything. Why then would she try to commit suicide?

OBITUARY : Brun Straub

Brun Straub was one of the most familiar public faces of science in Hungary for over 30 years. But few of his compatriots would have expected that he would also play a walk-on part in Hungary's turbulent political history. He did so briefly when he took on the almost entirely ceremonial post of head of state in 1988 in the twilight era of Hungarian Communism. An amateur politician, he was at the time the only non-Communist president in Eastern Europe.
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Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
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Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
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A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
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Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
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Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments