File Image: A man lost part of his ear and finger after being shot with what is believed to have been a crossbow

Man loses part of ear and finger in 'horrendous' crossbow attack

The Liverpool man, believed to be in his 20s, was 'subjected to a sustained assault' with what is believed to have been a crossbow, police have said

More than a million pupils have been fingerprinted at their secondary school

Privacy concerns raised as more than one million pupils are fingerprinted in schools

An estimated 31 per cent of schools did not consult parents before using the biometric technology

A meerkat peers out from beneath a rock during a stocktake

Animals counted up in London Zoo stocktake

Creatures were given snacks in exchange for having their details recorded by zoo keepers

One third of Americans reject the theory of evolution

One third of Americans reject the theory of evolution

Bolt winning gold in Beijing in 2008 - according to a new study, symmetrical knees could help to explain why Jamaicans are so good at sprinting

Could symmetrical knees be the secret to Usain Bolt's success? A new study seems to think so

Jamaican children have particularly symmetric legs in comparison to Europeans, according to research

Reading a novel may boost brain functionality for days, new research has found

Brain function 'boosted for days after reading a novel'

Reading a gripping novel causes biological changes in the brain which last for days as the mind is transported into the body of the protagonist

Postcard from... Sydney

Withdrawn arthritis drug Vioxx. It is hoped that genetic discoveries might lead to discover new medicines for this and other complex diseases

'Faulty' DNA discovery could point to cure for arthritis

Scientists have identified DNA associated with an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis, holding out hope of a new treatment or even a cure.

Elephant Appeal: The Kenyan canine unit putting elephant poachers off the scent

The business of protecting wildlife has now become an extremely professional and militarised affair

Was the testosterone filled James Bond susceptible to bouts of man flu?

Man flu is no myth say scientists, with 'manly' men more susceptible

Men with high levels of testosterone have a secret flaw - less effective immune systems, researchers have discovered

One in three people have inherited a genetic variation that impairs their ability to remember faces, according to a study

Never forget a face? Scientists unlock genetics that cause autism sufferers’ memory struggles

People with the gene variant are less able to recognise faces

‘Does someone born with a hearing loss “hear” an inner voice?’

I believe I am well qualified to answer this question. I was born deaf and have been deaf my whole life. I do not wear hearing aids or cochlear implants (and have no desire to wear either). I speak American Sign Language (ASL) and it is my primary language. I am a mother of two born-deaf children, so our being deaf is genetic for us.

The National Portrait Gallery has commissioned a portrait of Tony Blair by Alastair Adams

A portrait of Tony Blair – and zealotry

A painting of the former PM for the National Portrait Gallery tells us much about him

More than 50 senior scientists from 14 countries are denouncing claims that the ferret experiments are necessary for the development of new flu vaccines and anti-viral drugs

'Untrue statements' anger over work to make H5N1 bird-flu virus MORE dangerous to humans

Coalition of leading scientists claim ferret experiments could lead to a pandemic

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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