Life and Style

Sleep researchers found that disruption to natural body clock has ‘severe’ impact on finely-tuned DNA

Songe gives life to Longsdon dream

For once, the aesthetic charms of his working environment were this week lost on Charlie Longsdon. The Cotswolds rolled in their new white pelt, while snowy twigs and branches embraced intricately across the road. But Longsdon was impatient for a thaw. This is potentially the most important week of his career so far, and he could ill afford any hold-ups. For here is a young trainer in a hurry.

The doctor who dropped his trousers on top of the world

That's how Daniel Martin measured his blood oxygen level – and found a more effective treatment for his patients

Will the Met learn from its 'annus horribilis'?

Scotland Yard ends a year of controversy with a grovelling apology to the man they tried to entrap for Rachel Nickell's murder

Napper questioned on unsolved murders

Met police rejects inquiry into Nickell case despite series of errors

The baby clock: Birth survey has reignited debate on delayed motherhood

Some aspiring mothers may think they have heard it all before – warnings about focussing on careers and waiting too long to have children. In yet another stark caution this week, doctors said leaving it until 40 defies nature and risks heartbreak. But what makes this latest message more worrying is that it comes amid a row over the increase in Down's syndrome births, which, following a sharp fall after the widespread introduction of antenatal screening in 1989, have since risen.

Down's test: A mother's right to choose

The latest test for Down's is up to 98 per cent accurate and costs the NHS just £25. So, asks Annalisa Barbieri, why isn't it offered to all pregnant women?

Chickenpox during pregnancy

I am 24 weeks pregnant and I'm worried about chickenpox, as my three-year-old son has been exposed to it at his nursery. Is there any chance that the baby will be infected or damaged by chickenpox?

Veteran Danvers claims shock bronze

Another lightning Bolt for Jamaica; another unexpected jolt of a medal for Great Britain. Usain Bolt was still posing next to the trackside clock on the infield of the Beijing Bird’s Nest when Tasha Danvers was getting ready to settle into her starting blocks for the women’s 400m hurdles final. The barriers set out in front of her were just ten more to surmount in a career - a season even - that has been strewn with obstacles.

Pick your own surgeon – a new future for the NHS

Patients will be able to choose which surgeon they want to carry out their operation under changes to the NHS designed improve quality of treatment.

'Drunk' holiday parents return to UK

A British couple holidaying in Portugal who were due in court today after allegedly getting so drunk that they passed out while in charge of their three young children are believed to have left the country, the Foreign Office said.

Use of DIY stem cell blood kits curbed

New regulations are to be introduced to curb the use of DIY kits for collecting blood from umbilical cords.

Wealth Check: Blood test therapist who's out of the red

After setting up a healthcare business and clearing her debts in three years, a hard-working entrepreneur seeks financial advice. By Harriet Meyer

Dr Tom Coffey: Why I'm in favour of the new scheme

GP with 14 years' experience in Wandsworth, south London

Prostate cancer deaths fall four times faster in US

A dramatic fall in deaths from prostate cancer in the US has raised questions about Britain's poor performance against the commonest cancer in men.

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John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
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Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
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David Silva, Andy Carroll, Arsene Wenger and Radamel Falcao
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'