Britons wage war on opium crops

BRITISH SCIENTISTS are advising on a project to create a fungus which destroys opium poppies, as part of the worldwide war against the international heroin trade.

Frogs and toads croak as new fungus spreads

A FUNGUS previously unknown to science is killing frogs and toads throughout the world in a bizarre amphibian plague - and scientists fear that their own studies are passing it on.

Technoquest: The bald truth about fungi

Questions for this column may be submitted by e-mail to sci.net@ campus.bt.com

Property: Doctor on the house: Talking rot in any language

Don't be fooled - you can deal with anobium and serpula without chemicals - or a Latin dictionary, says Jeff Howell

Truffle wars

Two truffle-hunting dogs were killed by poison in central Italy at the weekend, bringing the total of dogs killed by strychnine since the season began in October to more than 30. The price of the edible fungus has recently soared to around 2.5m lire (pounds 900) per kilo, and police believe someone is seeking to put the opposition out of action.

Is it worth it?: Let them stew in their own juice

Carluccio's fresh chanterelle mushrooms go wild in the country for pounds 24 a kilogram

Treasure of the birch forest

This autumn, conditions are particularly good for mushrooms. Daniel Butler offers a guide to finding the tasty cep, or 'porcino'. Photograph: John Miller/GPL

Health: Air conditioning hazards highlighted

Air conditioning can cause asthma attacks, chest tightness and a runny nose in office workers, according to new research.

How to tell a blewit from a destroying angel

Wild about wild mushrooms but fearful of fungi? Rupert Isaacson on a course to guide you safely around nature's larder

A fungus flavour to slay for

The St George's est arrive! But without more rain, this may not be a good year for the strong and meaty wild mushroom.

Famine has its chips with suicidal potato

Potatoes could soon have an effective defence mechanism against the fungus which caused the Irish famine 150 years ago: self-destruction.

AGRICULTURE: Gastronomic great leap forward

Scientists have taken a giant leap for gastronomy by growing the highly prized golden chantrelle wild mushroom in a greenhouse. Until now, the fungus has defied all attempts at cultivation and can only be harvested from pine forests.

Girl, 10, finds `lost' fungus

A 10-year-old girl has become the toast of the mushroom world after unearthing a specimen thought to have vanished from Britain 70 years ago.

Rare puff ball back on Earth

A 10-year-old girl has amazed mushroom experts by finding a puff ball believed to be extinct in Britain for more than 70 years.

Twentieth-century foxes - and a hedgehog

Picking the last of the blackberries, high on the side of our hill, I looked out over the valley and wondered where summer had gone. So quickly did the season brew up and depart that the whole year seems to have been foreshortened.
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Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

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The Black Friday Vines that will destroy your faith in humanity
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Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
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Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops
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All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
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Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game