News

NuSTAR captures dead star and distant black holes

Study shows no cancer risk from power lines

THE WORLD'S biggest investigation of childhood cancers has failed to find a link be- tween the magnetic fields created by electricity power lines and leukaemia.

Historical Notes: A nation no longer interested in invention

BRITAIN POSSESSED an inventive society in the 18th and 19th centuries. From the first use of steam power to pump water out of mines in 1712 to the turbine-powered power station of 1892, a staggering sequence of inventions of outstanding quality was made in Britain. They were also exploited. Invention of course begets invention. Invent a steam engine; someone invents a device to make the engines; then someone invents machines to be driven by the engines, which leads to setting new performance criteria and so on. Newcomen's clanking pumping engine evolved by stages into a Rolls- Royce turbo-jet. The process is a cumulative one, continuously diversifying and, of course, it is what drives industrial economies.

Feeling tired? Hang on, I'll get my twigs out

The ancient practice of dowsing once located water underground. Now it has more unusual uses.

Science: X-ray eye on the invisible Universe

A new space telescope promises to shine a light on the parts the Hubble can't reach.

Science: Technoquest

Q How is the Earth's magnetic field produced?

Obituary: Paul Vigoureux

PAUL VIGOUREUX'S work had a profound impact on the exactness of science and technology. Through it, and in the translation of key documents between French and English, he helped greatly in the process of reaching agreement as to what the International System of Units, the SI, should be. Where necessary he would gently remind over-enthusiastic pedants that "units are made for people, not the other way round".

TWO CLOCKS BY SIMON ARMITAGE - 1999

In the same bedroom we kept two small clocks,

Phone mast link to cancer is denied

A REPORT from the World Health Organisation, which says that mobile phone communications masts do not cause cancer, has been branded a "whitewash".

Shopping: I want...A funky pair of headphones - The route to a secret world of sound

Not everybody appreciates the importance of quality headphones. Some people hold "cans" in such contempt that they would never consider owning a set, were it not for the proliferation of the personal stereo, which, of course, comes equipped with "free" ones. These people are unlikely to have ever experienced the trainspottery buzz of putting on a new CD and being delighted by the discovery that a seemingly two-dimensional song played on a cheap stereo unfurls into virtual stage play when headphones are worn. Take the intro to Timbaland's new album, for instance, wherein you find yourself strolling alongside - and having the same blushing perspective as - vocalist TK Kirkland as he observes that the woman walking ahead of him has a great future behind her.

Obituary: Professor Nicholas Kurti

NICHOLAS KURTI was the final link between physics at Oxford University and the remarkable group of scientists who emerged from the shadow of the holocaust in the 1930s.

Signs of life on Jupiter's moons

THE PROSPECT of finding life in space has received a boost with the discovery of evidence suggesting the existence of huge oceans of salty water on two of Jupiter's moons.

Jupiter reveals sign of life

THE PROSPECT of finding life in space has received a boost with the discovery of evidence suggesting the existence of huge oceans of salty water on two of Jupiter's moons.

Elite squad detective sues over `damaged hearing'

A former detective who was routinely "wired up" with a radio and earpiece during four years of elite squad secret surveillance on major criminals is suing her police employers, claiming the equipment damaged her hearing and forced her into early retirement.

Science: When stars get the shakes

There's a new type of star shining bright in the night sky. Can it explain one of the greatest mysteries of deep space?

Science: Houston, we have a result

When scientists lost contact with a solar observatory spaceship, it looked like disaster. But then they received a call. By Alexander Hellemans
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee