Richard Garner: The genetics route could spell a new direction for education

Linking the words "genetics" and "education" can bring the hardiest of educationists out in a rash.

The study compared the academic performance of identical and non-identical twin

Nature trumps nurture in exam success: GCSE results 'mainly determined by genes,' says landmark study of twins

Conclusion that teachers are less important than biology sparks outrage, as researchers call for national curriculum to be abandoned in favour of personalised lesson plans

There were fears of potential conflicts of interest among the companies that considered bids to run the body

Dead in the water: MoD shake-up plans ditched

The Government's project to 'privatise' the £15bn defence agency that buys the armed forces' tanks and submarines is shelved

Better late than never: 90-year-old grandmother waits seven decades to graduate from University of Manchester after WW2 got in the way

Gene Hetherington finally collects her BA in Commerce at a ceremony alongside her 23-year-old granddaughter

Mark Hunt in action

MMA: UFC heavyweights Mark Hunt and Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva in fight for the ages

Brisbane witnessed a battle that will be long remembered

Bill Burr performs on stage in Los Angeles

Schools guilty of gender stereotyping, researchers claim

Half of state-funded schools in England are paying too little attention to the way gender stereotypes influence subject choices, researchers have claimed.

New research into the 'deep biosphere' indicates that the first replicating life-forms on the planet may have originated deep underground

Life on Earth may have developed below rather than above ground, reveal scientists

New research into the “deep biosphere” indicates that the first replicating life-forms on the planet may have originated deep underground

If all people lived in isolation for a year, would we wipe out all contagious diseases?’

Each person is teeming with bacteria, and we have a lot of viruses, too. A lot of the bacteria that live on and in our bodies can cause disease even if they aren't causing problems at the moment (for instance, E coli in the gut). So, no way. If each person lived in isolation for a year they'd still come out teeming with germs. But maybe it would theoretically wipe out some certain pathogen – I can't think of any, though. We actually need our bacteria, a lot of what goes on is a symbiotic relationship.

New prosthetic arm offers users the ability to feel what they touch

'Cuff electrodes' connect the prosthetic hand  to the amputee's nerves

Harvard under scrutiny: are its students' grades over-generous?

'If this is true... it represents a failure on the part of this faculty and its leadership to maintain our academic standards' says college professor

Cannabis can cause man boobs, US surgeon claims

Worries about those man boobs? Then ‘put out that joint’, says Dr Anthony Youn

Male contraceptive pill brought a step closer

The new approach, which involves blocking the release of sperm brings scientists closer to developing an effective male pill

Brain networks in males (upper) and in females (lower)

The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'

And why women are 'better at remembering a conversation'

A Parliamentary investigation has begun into the risk of hospitals spreading the human form of 'mad cow' disease

Commons committee launch investigation into potential spread of vCJD brain disease in hospitals

A Parliamentary investigation has begun into the risk of hospitals spreading the human form of “mad cow” disease as a result of failing to detect the infective agent responsible for the variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in tissue donations and on surgical instruments.

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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