Swine flu risk was inflated by experts with links to drugs industry

Academics with links to pharmaceutical firms were more likely to inflate the risks of the 2009 swine flu pandemic and inadvertently promote the drugs developed by the industry, a study has found.

The vapour known as 'mushroom alcohol' which is present in damp, mouldy buildings can damage the nerve cells of the brain responsible for Parkinson's disease

Vapours from damp buildings may trigger Parkinson’s

'Mushroom alcohol' can damage the nerve cells of the brain, say scientists

The world’s largest cancer database, which will use computer programs similar to those that forecast the weather to process millions of experimental results in seconds, has been launched by British scientists

Cloudy with a chance of finding new cures for cancer: CanSAR database adapts weather forecasting computer programs

The world’s largest cancer database, which will use computer programs similar to those that forecast the weather to process millions of experimental results in seconds, has been launched by British scientists. The technological breakthrough has the potential to revolutionise the search for cancer cures.

Devastation: The scene in Tacloban in central Philippines after it was hit by Haiyan

Tourists in Vietnam braced for arrival of Typhoon Haiyan

Tourists in northern areas of Vietnam are bracing themselves as one of the most powerful storms on record makes its way towards them after devastating the Philippines.

Andy Murray says Viktor Troicki and Marin Cilic were 'unprofessional' over doping offences

The pair were both hit with suspensions

RSPCA Inspector Tony Woodley holds a seven-inch-long huntsman spider, common to Australia, which was discovered in a delivery at St Leonards-on-Sea:

Stowaway! Giant fast-moving huntsman spider with a nasty bite lands in UK

The seven-inch arachnid reached East Sussex in delivery of BMX parts from Taiwan

Market Report: Halfords gained from a UK surge in cycling and cost cutting at the group

There were at least some punters who could tear themselves away from Twitter's initial public offering long enough to pump up cycling and car parts retailer Halfords' share price yesterday.

GlaxoSmithKline’s asthma treatments Ventolin (pictured) and Seretide will be covered by the deal

Freeze on drug prices will save NHS £1bn over next two years

Money-saving deal goes through despite opposition from pharmaceutical companies

A worker at the facility with a handful of fertiliser pellets that it produces

Come, friendly bombs, don’t fall on Slough. It’s doing good for humans now: Berkshire town to launch £2m nutrient-recovery reactor

Once mocked by Sir John Betjeman and Ricky Gervais, the town is now home to a unique machine that is turning sewage into high-grade phosphorous fertiliser - and could hold the key to securing future global food supplies

The 10 Best Eco toys

Give your children an early lesson in values with this pick of educational and environmentally friendly playthings

Bashar al-Assad jokes that he ‘should have won Nobel Peace Prize’

Syrian dictator tells pro-regime Lebanese newspaper that he should have taken the award which went to the global chemical weapons watchdog charged with disarming his country

Pregnant women have been warned to avoid the chemical BPA, found in canned food and plastics, which brings an 80% increase in risk of miscarriage

Canned foods, plastic containers and receipts all increase risk of miscarriage for pregnant women, scientists warn

One of the first studies looking at the evidence in humans shows worrying link between chemical BPA and infertility

Scientists develop implant that could stop Parkinson's growth

The implant pumps proteins into the brain to encourage damaged cells to grow again

Money Insider: Seek out heroes not zeros for a better credit card deal

Obsession with long-term, 0 per cent balance-transfer deals means that many decent, all-round credit cards get overlooked.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' (OPCW) building in The Hague, The Netherlands

The winner isn’t... Malala Yousafzai misses out as chemical weapons watchdog OPCW wins Nobel Peace Prize

Little-known watchdog gets Nobel recognition for work trying to rid world of chemical weapons – but critics point to recent genocide in Syria and claim award is ‘premature’ 

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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

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Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

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Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

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Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

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Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

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Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

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