The tracker that could head off hospital bugs

Scientists have devised a way of tracking the spread of antibiotic-resistant bugs within a hospital by analysing the smallest changes to the genetic signature of the microbe as it spreads from person to person.

Disinfectants make stronger superbugs

Disinfectants designed to keep bacteria out of homes and hospitals could be fuelling the growth of superbugs. Scientists found that exposing infectious bacteria to increasing amounts of disinfectant turned the bugs into hardy survivors. The bacteria also developed resistance to the antibiotic, ciprofloxacin – despite not having previously encountered the drug.

Luke Jerram's 'Viral Sculptures' exhibition debuts at The Smithfield Gallery

Visitors arrived at The Smithfield Gallery last week to see some of the world’s most deadly viruses and bacteria up close. Luke Jerram's Viral Sculptures sees some of the world’s most deadly diseases intricately rendered into translucent glass works.

Howard Jacobson: All the obsessive hand-washing in the world won't stop those nasty little germs

My swine flu buddy rings the helpline and they say, yes, sounds like swine flu to them

Bug holds key to alien life

A tiny purple bug discovered three kilometres under Greenland ice has been reawakened from a slumber lasting more than 100,000 years.

Dr Mark Fielder: There's no need to panic – not yet anyway

Pandemic status has been called because the number of cases of H1N1 has now reached a threshold value. This situation was, and is, expected. Cases of infection will continue to appear throughout the next few weeks or months as the disease spreads. As time progresses, cases are likely to lessen as the natural immunity of the population develops and control measures are implemented.

Sum, By David Eagleman

Matters of (after) life and death

When life as we know it became possible on Earth

The mystery of how our planet's atmosphere became rich in oxygen has finally been solved

The lost world beneath the Antarctic ice

British scientists search for life forms hidden more than 400,000 years ago beneath Antarctic ice

Deadly Companions, By Dorothy H Crawford

An irresistible book on a gruesome topic, this absorbing account of microbes will make you see the world anew. We learn that smallpox killed off the Stuarts and the lice-borne typhus bug R.prowazekii "played a key role" in defeating Napoleon.

Bacteria outbreak kills baby in neonatal unit

A baby has died and six others were in isolation last night after an infection broke out in a hospital's neonatal unit.

Baby dies in hospital bug outbreak

One baby has died and six others were in an isolation ward tonight after a bug hit a hospital's neo-natal unit.

Microcosm: E.coli And The New Science Of Life, by Carl Zimmer

From soiled nappies comes a tiny wonder – with a giant role in genetics

Big rise in deaths linked to C. difficile

Deaths linked to Clostridium difficile have risen by nearly three quarters, according to official figures published yesterday.

Tim Lott: It's a breakthrough. I can feel it in my... chromosomes, is it?

When I woke up Friday morning I was absolutely thrilled with the news on the radio. Something very, very important had happened in some laboratory somewhere. It was Dr Craig Venter, head of the research team who had been studying the thing, relaying the scoop to John Humphrys:

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?