Sex and sniffles prove good for Reckitt

Reckitt Benckiser thanked strong demand for cold and flu remedies and for Durex condoms for its 3 per cent rise in profits last year.

Thermo Fisher headquarters in Massachusetts

'Faulty' antibiotic test kits putting patients at risk, doctors told

Test kits are swabbed with sputum or urine to show patients' suitability for certain drugs

Scientists fear that if airborne transmission became possible it would lead to a deadly flu pandemic

Leading scientists condemn decision to continue controversial research into deadly H5N1 bird-flu virus

Research has already led to the creation of a mutated form of avian flu that can spread easily between mammals – including humans

Picture of Mars from the Curiosity rover

Scientists claim new data is 'strongest evidence yet' that Mars may have supported life

Components required to sustain simple microorganisms could have been present on Mars for much of its history, say scientists

Scientists develop nanoparticle method to help tackle major diseases

Scientists have developed a way of modifying a microscopic particle which could offer a new approach to tackling major diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, asthma and food allergies.

MRSA outbreak at Cambridge's Rosie Hospital halted by new DNA profiling technology

A bug-busting “black box” is being developed that can rapidly identify the source of hospital infections and help staff to stop them spreading.

Editorial: Lessons from the ashes

Sad to say, there is little that can now be done for Britain's ash trees. The rapid spread of the Chalara fraxinea fungus – confirmed at just two sites in the wild, two weeks ago, and now found at 61 – only emphasises the impossibility of confining it, and there is no cure. The impact on the countryside, and on all manner of flora and fauna that thrive in the ash's shade, is set to be as devastating as it is heart-breaking.

IoS letters, emails & online postings (24 June 2012)

Ed Miliband's mission to break the European "grip of centre-right austerity" is a desirable aim, but now that confidence in the Opposition leader and Shadow Chancellor exceeds that of Cameron and Osborne, he must set out a radical plan for growth ("Cameron is the last gasp of the old guard", 17 June).

Growth in slaughter of non-stunned animals is 'unacceptable'

A former president of the British Veterinary Association claims that meat producers have increased the number of animals slaughtered according to religious principles, without prior stunning, because it is commercially advantageous for them to do so.

The outbreak of E.coli in northern Germany has crippled exports as uncertainty about the cause of the killer bug, most recently attributed to eating organic bean sprouts, added to the difficulties faced by farmers

Antibiotic-resistant blood poisoning raises threat of untreatable diseases

Britain is facing a "massive" rise in antibiotic-resistant blood poisoning caused by the bacterium E.coli – bringing closer the spectre of diseases that are impossible to treat.

Experts fear diseases 'impossible to treat'

Alarming rise in bacteria resistant to antibiotics, Government report finds

Open windows could help beat superbugs, says expert

Florence Nightingale may have had a point when she insisted 150 years ago that open windows were the hallmark of a healthy hospital ward, according to a microbiologist who believes air conditioning and an ultra-sterile environment may actually contribute to infections.

Legionnaire's found at Hong Kong's government headquarters

Bacteria which cause Legionnaire's disease have been found throughout Hong Kong's brand new, £432 million government headquarters.

Smith: his work at Porton led to a vaccine against plague

Professor Harry Smith: Leading authority on virulence and bacterial infection

The microbiologist Harry Smith was a leading expert on bacterial infection and virulence. Initially eschewing academia for a post at Porton, he subsequently took up a professorship at the University of Birmingham.

Mutated bird flu: the virus could be extremely infectious and deadly to humans

Too late to contain killer flu science, say experts

US government's hopes of suppressing details of controversial research may be doomed, say scientists

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