News Reading a novel may boost brain functionality for days, new research has found

Reading a gripping novel causes biological changes in the brain which last for days as the mind is transported into the body of the protagonist

Fish oil does not aid memory loss

Omega-3 supplements do not appear to prevent mental decline in old age, a study review has shown.

Autism signs in fish 'astonishing'

Signs of autism have been found in fish swimming in water contaminated with psychoactive medications.

Monkey see, monkey iPad 2: orang-utans are able to play with tablet devices

Trending: There's an Ape for that

You might be fed up with your little monkeys always wanting to play with your iPad, but for a group of orang-utan experts, that's exactly what they want. Gillian Orr reports

Heather Roberts, 57, pictured with her daughter Frances, 27: 'It was frustrating that it was such a hard fight to be diagnosed'

Most GPs can't recognise signs of Alzheimer's

Early treatment alleviates symptoms but only 37 per cent of doctors are trained to identify it

Disabled home care costs up 10 per cent

Frail elderly and disabled people are being charged more for council help to get washed, dressed and fed at home, according to a survey.

Valerie Carlin, 45, suffers with Asperger syndrome

Autistic adults bullied and not supported at work, poll shows

More than a third of adults with autism have been bullied or discriminated against at work, the largest ever survey on the condition has found.

The Marriage Plot, By Jeffrey Eugenides

Smells like Regency teen spirit

Louis Theroux: ‘For the first time I’m doing shows that have no real implied critique’

'You can't in any way take advantage of or manipulate people who are vulnerable'

A documentary on autism has wowed the TV critics, says Simon Usborne

Two-year-old Tilly is being trained to carry medicine for her owner at Dogs for the Disabled in Banbury

Guide dogs for the mind to fight dementia

Animals will help Alzheimer's patients remember their medicine and steer them through the day

How should a man die? The late Tom Lubbock

Until Further Notice I Am Alive, By Tom Lubbock

This extraordinary, vast little book enacts Larkin's almost-instinct, almost true: what has remained of him is love. Tom Lubbock was art critic of this paper for many years until a brain cancer removed, inch by inch, his language and then he died, stupidly young.

Last Night's Viewing: Louis Theroux: Extreme Love, BBC2 - Grandma's House, BBC2

In his new documentary, Louis Theroux told us, he would be exploring "the pleasures and strains of one of the most extraordinary kinds of relationship".

Darrell Desuze sentenced for killing pensioner Richard Mannington Bowes during riots

The 17-year-old who killed a pensioner during last year’s rioting in London has been locked up for eight years.

3,000 sought for Parkinson's study

A charity is looking for 3,000 Parkinson's sufferers to take part in the biggest ever study into the cause of the disease. 

Kyoto van crash leaves eight dead

Eight people have died after a van ran through a crowded junction and struck pedestrians in the western Japanese city of Kyoto today.

Journey's End: Larner wants the law on assisted suicide to be changed

Chris Larner: The actor who helps his ex-wife die every night

Taking a loved one to a suicide clinic isn't something most people would want to write a play about. Let alone when they've only just got married again. Emily Dugan meets Chris Larner

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick