Breakthrough could lead to cure for chronic liver disease

Medical scientists have taken an important step towards understanding how the diseased liver can repair itself in a breakthrough that could eventually lead to the development of new treatments for chronic liver illnesses, which at present can only be cured by organ transplants.

Winning ways: the chef Wolfgang Puck shows the foods on offer at the Oscars

Served with ceremony: The culinary trends at this year's awards parties

Tim Walker gets to sample delicacies including edible gold flakes and mojito mousse

Doctors warn on alcohol deaths

More than 200,000 people could die early from alcohol over the next 20 years, leading doctors have warned.

James Moore: Bolland's bacon saved as M&S counts the cost of Christmas flop

If Marks & Spencer's Christmas figures are anything to go by, the pixie dust Marc Bolland sprinkled on Morrisons to make it fly has been in short supply. Yesterday's trading statement was no Christmas cracker and the shares would have taken a beating had it not been for a bravura performance by the retailer's food halls. That saved Mr Bolland's bacon, at least for now.

James Moore: Food saves Bolland's bacon as M&S counts the cost of a Christmas flop

Outlook If Marks & Spencer's Christmas figures are anything to go by, the pixie dust Marc Bolland sprinkled on Morrisons to make it fly has been in short supply. Yesterday's trading statement was no Christmas cracker and the shares would have taken a beating had it not been for a bravura performance from the retailer's food offering. That saved Mr Bolland's bacon. At least for now.

The Government is under growing pressure to rethink its imminent alcohol strategy and its guidelines for sensible drinking

Alcohol: keep a clear head

A new government report on drinking alcohol aims to give us easy to understand, no-nonsense advice. But are we ready to listen?

The Commons' Science and Technology Committee believed abstaining from alcohol at least twice a week would help people's health

Drinkers should have two alcohol-free days a week

Drinkers should give themselves two alcohol-free days a week, a committee of MPs said today.

Roberto Bolaño: 'The Spanish language is my homeland'

The Third Reich, By Roberto Bolaño (trs Natasha Wimmer)

A newly translated novel, written in the 1980s, reveals the preoccupations of a Chilean master as well has his trademark sarcasm and dark humour

January liver detoxes are 'futile' say hepatologist

Going on a New Year detox to cleanse your liver is "medically futile", health experts warned yesterday.

Joe Tizzard clears the water jump on Cue Card at Newbury

Cut in distance leaves Cue Card holding all the aces

The last day of an old year is as good a time as any to look to the future. Racing is unusual among sports that callow young beginners regularly compete on the same programmes as seasoned veterans, rather than being tucked away at junior meets or youth squad matches. And their presence in the public eye from the start makes the tracing of real talent all the more absorbing, though it's spotting not necessarily easier.

Twins born with one body and two heads

Hospital officials in northern Brazil say a woman have given birth to conjoined twin boys with one body and two heads.

Alcohol diseases double in 7 years

The Health Minister Andrew Lansley was forced to defend his controversial "hands off" approach to public health yesterday as new figures revealed hospital admissions for alcohol-related diseases have doubled in the past seven years.

Right-to-die suicide letter angry at MP's 'cowardice'

A British woman who travelled to Switzerland to die has condemned the "cowardice of politicians" which forced her to spend her last hours away from home.

Pledge over drink advertising aimed at young

Ministers charged with delivering the Olympic Games have vowed to protect young people from binge drinking.

Ali and Frazier fought some of the greatest heavy-weight bouts of all time

Muhammad Ali praying for Joe Frazier

Former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali today said he was praying for Joe Frazier following the news of his great rival's battle against cancer.

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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own