i Philip Pullman, author

Say a little prayer for me?

Memory switch-on could help fight brain disease

Memories have been blocked and recovered in experiments that hold out the prospect of "artificial limbs for the mind" to combat Alzheimer's and other brain diseases. The experiments were done on rats and demonstrated that when an electronic switch implanted in the brain is flipped, the ability to retrieve memories returned.

Surprise discovery allows scientists to block Alzheimer's

Scientists developing treatments for the devastating brain disorder Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) have unexpectedly blocked the onset of Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia.

Album: Gyorgy Kurtag, Signs, Games and Messages (Mode)

Composed and revised between the mid-1960s and now, György Kurtág's Signs, Games and Messages is a sequence of 24 fragmentary individual pieces for solo viola, realised en masse for the first time here by Maurizio Barbetti.

Album: Barb Jungr, Man in the Long Black Coat (Linn)

A compilation of Dylan covers from various stages of her career, freshened up with four new recordings, Man in the Long Black Coat mines Barb Jungr's fascination with the septuagenarian troubadour with variable results.

Culture Club: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (12A)

Readers review this week's big film

Exile, BBC1, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday<br/>The Shadow Line, BBC2, Thursday<br/>Psychoville, BBC2, Thursday

Alzheimer's-stricken family saves an over-busy thriller, while true terror lurks with a Silent Singer

The Secret Life Of The Grown-up Brain, By Barbara Strauch

The cartoonish cover of this book might give the impression that it is a lowbrow read but it turns out that its writer is a Pulitzer prize-winning science journalist who has previously delved into the teenage brain and who knows her stuff.

A test for Alzheimer's disease &ndash; but will anyone want to take it?

Important new insights into Alzheimer's disease have emerged from the discovery of a handful of genes that are strongly implicated in raising a person's risk of developing the brain disorder in later life.

Sleep hormone 'may reduce dementia'

Doctors are leading a new study into a drug which could improve the quality of life for people with dementia.

Council staff sacked 'and then rehired for less pay'

A growing number of local authorities are dismissing staff and re-engaging them on worse pay and conditions as part of major cuts sweeping the country, outraged union officials revealed today.

Warning over NHS reform and dementia demand

The Government's reforms of the NHS will not tackle the growing demand from dementia sufferers, according to a new report.

Cell breakthrough for Alzheimer's

Brain cells that play a critical role in Alzheimer's disease have been created in the laboratory by scientists.

Natalie Haynes: You're asking me if I'm happy? What kind of a question is that?

How do you feel about the forthcoming census? Is it a) Hooray. I love genealogy, and my descendants are going to be pretty interested in this; b) Put on the foil hats, Ma – they're trying to read our minds again; c) It takes how long to fill in? Forty minutes? Then someone had best get me a pencil and two gins, or we're just not going to get through this; or d) Can't we just pretend to be out?

Speaking a second language can delay dementia onset for years

Speaking a second language may slow the rate at which the brain declines with age, showing that bilingual people are better protected against Alzheimer's disease than people who use only one language.

Album: Joyce DiDonato, Diva Divo (Virgin Classics)

For Joyce DiDonato, the restrictions of her mezzo-soprano range are more than adequately compensated for by the opportunity to play a wider range of characters, "from ardent young men to demented, murderous wives".

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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
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Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

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Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
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The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
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A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
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Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
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Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum