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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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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there