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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Sir John Gurdon will use his prize money to fund PhD students

Steve Connor: Gurdon deserves his prize but UK can hope for more

There can be no doubt that Sir John Gurdon deserves the greatest accolade in science. As a graduate student in Oxford in the late 1950s he showed that every cell of the body carries all the necessary genes for making an entire individual.

Television Choices: Using music to help foster harmonious relations

Barenboim on Beethoven: Nine Symphonies That Changed the World

Ewan Irvine, Isle of Mull

Portfolio: Felix Davey

Water is not mere embellishment; it is the essence of my reverie." So says Felix Davey, a Belfast-born photographer so inspired by the sense of freedom he finds in all things aquatic that last year he was drawn to Scotland's west coast to seek out those he dubs the "Water Folk" – people for whom water is enmeshed in their lives. "These individuals' solitude and fortitude," he says, "speak of wild, beautiful places, and our place within them."

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Brian Cox

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Professor Richard Dawkins and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams outside Clarendon House before the televised debate

Two existential heavyweights in a gentle contest for your very soul

Oxford University held its first debate on the subject of evolution in 1860, just months after the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Then, the Bishop of Winchester, Samuel Wilberforce, famously enquired of the biologist Thomas Henry Huxley whether it was through his grandmother or his grandfather that he traced his descent from a monkey.

Bottlenose dolphins off Brazil drive fish towards fishermen and then swim away, nabbing lunch as they go

Nature: All things bright and beautiful

Scientists are arguing that dolphins are so clever they should be treated like humans. But why stop there? Simon Usborne salutes the smartest species

Ken Loach: The film director is one of 21 signatories to a letter attacking the museum over links to Ahava DSL

Natural History Museum attacked over links to 'illegal' Israeli company

The Natural History Museum is today accused by a coalition of prominent academics and cultural figures of helping to break international law by leading a research project which involves an Israeli cosmetics company based in an “illegal” settlement in the occupied West Bank.

The‘hybrid’ giant tortoise is linked to a species thought to have died out 150 years ago

'Extinct' tortoise found living in the Galapagos

A species of giant tortoise that disappeared after being heavily hunted in the Galapagos more than a century ago may still be living on an island 200 miles away, a study has found.

Guy Adams: Charles Darwin - controversial in Oklahoma

Here, in the year 2011, Darwin and his new-fangled ideas about natural selection are still considered highly taboo.

Where do polar bears come from? Ireland

The mother of all polar bears lived in the British Isles about 100,000 years ago and she was not white but brown, according to a genetic study of the Arctic's biggest land predator.

Adrian Hamilton: Emperor's stunning intervention with only one precedent: the 1945 surrender

For the Japanese to wheel out their Emperor to make a televised address yesterday on the nuclear crisis is virtually unprecedented. To produce the country's most sacred figurehead in this way and to risk involving him in a situation which could become deeply political shows just how concerned the government and establishment has become not just over the dangers of a nuclear meltdown but also of public reaction to it.

When the Killing's Done, By T C Boyle

Rats, a sinking ship, and an eco puzzler

Delusions of Gender, By Cordelia Fine

This book rubbishes the view of one psychologist that "the female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy. The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding."

Last Night's TV: The Elephant: Life after Death/Channel 4<br />Romancing the Stone: the Golden Age of British Sculpture/BBC4

They're not exactly picky eaters, hyenas. If you want proof try to catch up with The Elephant: Life after Death, a novel kind of natural-history programme in which a group of biologists and film-makers laid on a free buffet for the scavengers and detritivores of Tsavo West National Park in Kenya. Staked out in a clearing, surrounded by more remote-control cameras than a sink-estate crime spot, was the corpse of a male elephant – six million calories of fat, meat and guts just waiting for anything bold enough to come and claim a chunk. The hyena was the first guest to show up, looming unnervingly out of the blackness with its headlamp eyes. Half-a-mile away, in a tented control room, the scientists sat in front of a bank of monitors giving a running commentary. Very tough, the skin of an elephant, they reminded us, as the hyena circled warily. Even a hyena's immensely powerful jaws will struggle. He's most likely to go for the softer parts. At which point – after one last quick check around for lions – the hyena took a little run-up and jammed his head up to the shoulder blades in the elephant's rectum. I'm glad to say that even the biologists momentarily lost their scientific detachment at this point. "Urggh!" they said as one, and they all said it again a little later when the hyena's enthusiastic tugging triggered a sudden explosion of intestinal gas.

Storms of my Grandchildren, By James Hansen

The science behind our catastrophic weather to come
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there