Life and Style Members of Falun Gong spiritual movement meditate at the Lafayette Park. A new study has suggested that spiritual activity such as meditation may hep prevent depression by thickening the brain cortex

Those who place a high level of importance on spirituality and religion were found to have thicker cortices in the areas normally associated with thinning in people at risk, than those who did not

Project Nim (12A)

The release of this documentary by James Marsh (Man on Wire) in the same week as Rise of the Planet of the Apes is wittily timed. It too speaks of caged primates, though its judgement on their captors is far more disturbing.

Leaked memo reveals 'discovery of God particle'

It is the most elusive subatomic particle in the universe and its discovery could revolutionise nuclear physics.

Antarctic ozone hole 'creating rainfall in subtropical region'

The ozone "hole" over Antarctica could be increasing the amount of rainfall as far away as the subtropical regions of the southern hemisphere, according to a study that highlights the global nature of climate changes.

A deal-maker on Wall Street, an altruist in China. But can Huang be a saviour at Anfield?

As details emerge about the leading contender to take ownership of Liverpool, one thing is clear: this is no cash-rich billionaire

Pregnant women who fast for Ramadan risk damage to their babies, study finds

Pregnant muslim women who fast during Ramadan are likely to have smaller babies who will be more prone to learning disabilities in adulthood, according to new research.

US school children warm to chic Carla Bruni

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy turned up the heat on her first trip to Washington as France's first lady, visiting a school in a poor neighbourhood and lunching at Ben's Chili Bowl.

An era ends as Japan's LDP is swept from power

Ruling party projected to lose two-thirds of its seats after dominating for decades

The American Future, By Simon Schama

The Jiminy Cricket lookalike who pops up on virtually a daily basis to explain America for the BBC is Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University. Schama talks – and writes – a blue streak.

The Library at Night, By Alberto Manguel

If many bibliophiles will share Alberto Manguel's assertion that the acquisition and ordering of his library has "kept me sane", they will also agree with his "fascinated horror" at how "night after night shelves... would fill up, apparently on their own". Manguel's testament to the library will be received with joy by any reader dismayed at the digitised domination of the world.

Screen Talk: And the Beat goes on

Plans for 'Kill Your Darlings', an indie ensemble movie about the birth of the Beat Generation of writers which included Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S Burroughs are taking shape. Ben Whishaw of 'Brideshead Revisited' has signed to star as Lucien Carr, the Columbia University undergraduate who brought together a circle of writers who went on to be dubbed the Beat generation.

<a href="http://stephenfoley.independentminds.livejournal.com/1524.html">Stephen Foley: Stiglitz advice to Obama - Direct cash to the states</a>

Just had a fascinating conversation with Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University’s Nobel prize-winning economist, who doesn’t sound at all like someone who thinks that sterling is doomed to collapse against the dollar. If anything, he thinks the severity of the crisis in the US financial system is being masked by the fact that the Federal Reserve is the main bail-out engine, rather than the government itself, with its more easily-measurable debt.

How a sweet tooth leads to senior moments

Raised blood sugar levels may be to blame for memory lapses that commonly occur with increasing age, according to a study by Columbia University Medical Centre in New York.

Stem-cell advance for motor neurone disease

Scientists have succeeded in transforming skin cells from two sisters with motor neurone disease into the same kind of nerve cells being destroyed by their illness, raising the possibility that the new cells can be transplanted back into them to offset the degenerative condition.

Nerve bypass 'could end paralysis'

Thousands of people could regain the use of paralysed limbs thanks to a pioneering technique, scientists claim.

Market uncertainty casts chill over forum's opening sessions

The gloom and uncertainty pervading the world's financial markets was fully reflected in the sombre, nervous mood during the opening sessions of the World Economic Forum in Davos. For the first time since its post-9/11 meeting in 2002, the bears are in the ascendant.

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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones