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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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
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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