Voices Ice forms on the shore of the East River due to unusually low temperatures caused by a polar vortex in New York

All 50 US states are below freezing as the polar vortex sworls around North America, shattering temperature records and causing a collective shudder across the continent.

The first cases of norovirus this winter have been reported in Leicester and Southampton hospitals

Norovirus returns: As winter bites, first hospital wards are closed by the vomiting bug

Hospitals in Southampton and Leicester have reported cases of norovirus, with some wards being closed to new patients

Promiscuous mice have 'sexier smelling' sons

Female mice who have to compete for mates produce more desirable sons

Father of a four-year-old boy whose mummified body was found in his mother’s house alerted police, court hears

The father of a four-year-old boy whose mummified body was found in his mother’s house urged police to check on the child a year before his death, a court heard today.

Urine is not the best cure for a jellyfish sting

To pee or not to pee? Red Cross says using urine on jellyfish stings won't help

An unexpected boom in the number of jellyfish swarming around our coasts has prompted an unusual warning from the British Red Cross – don’t pee on a jellyfish sting.

Urine is not the best cure for a jellyfish sting

To pee or not to pee? Red Cross says using urine on jellyfish stings won't help

An unexpected boom in the number of jellyfish swarming around our coasts has prompted an unusual warning from the British Red Cross – don’t pee on a jellyfish sting.

Dr Ioannis Ieropoulos inside the Bioenergy laboratory at the BRL, holding a phone powered by a microbial fuel cell stack.

Video: Urine-powered mobile phone charger lets you spend a penny to make a call

New microbial fuel cells contain bacteria that produce electricity from urine as part of their natural life cycle

Delphine Boël claims she was born as the result of a royal affair

Artist claims she is Belgian king’s daughter, court hears

Delphine Boël, 45, wants a Brussels court to order Albert II and two of his three children to undergo blood tests to prove they are related

A student participates in a trial to find a vaccine for avian flu in 2005

Students taking part in clinical trials: What you need to know

You've seen the flyers around campus. Maybe you've wondered what being a medical guinea pig is like? Tom Clarke finds out more

Sylvain Georges

Giro d'Italia: French rider Sylvain Georges fails drugs test

The Ag2r-La Mondiale rider did not start today's 11th stage

What exactly is Mercaptan?

Mercaptan is also known as methanethiol and is a harmless but pungent-smelling gas which has been described as having the stench of rotting cabbages or smelly socks.

Norovirus outbreak over festive period triggers blood shortage

The NHS has made an urgent appeal for O Negative blood donors after the norovirus outbreak and the festive period caused a drop in donations.

How alarming – I lost five years of my life in a flash

The Life Length test is very straightforward. They draw some blood and you complete a short questionnaire

The cruise ship from hell: Passengers told to stay in cabins as norovirus breaks out

When forking out for a once-in-a-lifetime trip, passengers boarding P&O's Oriana's probably didn't expect to be stuck in their rooms vomiting.

Felix Baumgartner prepares for 23-mile skyfall

Skydiver Felix Baumgartner is preparing to take the leap of his life aiming for the highest, fastest free fall in history.

Patient with rare fever dies in UK hospital

A man being treated for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever after returning to the UK from Afghanistan has died.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'