Life and Style

The sight of thousands of people with previously incurable forms of blindness could be saved thanks to a pioneering new gene therapy that requires just one operation.

Surgeons trained on virtual patients

Medics now need a screenside manner, says Roger Dobson

Wednesday's Book: Blindness by Jose Saramago

Sight is the sense we most fear losing. To create a world with an inexplicable pandemic of blindness, as Portugal's leading novelist Jose Saramago does in this novel, is to play with one of our deepest preoccupations.

It's always women's fault

Erica Jong finds US reaction to the Louise Woodward case a sign of unchanging prejudice

Update: Health: Diabetes costs NHS pounds 4,000 a minute

Treating diabetes costs the National Health Service more than pounds 4,000 a minute, according to figures released today.

Whiteness is all

BLINDNESS by Jose Saramago, trs Giovanni Pontiero, Harvill pounds 14.99

Nanny Trial: Exact causes of death still unclear

No one disputes that eight-month-old Matthew Eappen died on 9 February this year from a brain haemorrhage. But, as the trial of Louise Woodward progressed, it seemed that was all we could be sure of. Glenda Cooper, Social Affairs Correspondent examines the medical evidence.

Mother tells murder trial of fears about British nanny

The mother of baby Matthew Eappen finally took the stand in the trial of the British nanny accused of killing him, Louise Woodward, in Boston yesterday. As David Usborne observed, Mrs Eappen's testimony was compelling and often chilling. For the jury it may have been deeply affecting.

Baby's eye injuries showed extreme force, court told

The baby whom British nanny Louise Woodward is accused of murdering was shaken or slammed down with a force equal to being hit by a lorry or train, her trial heard yesterday.

Air Disaster: Fears grow for long-term health of millions

Even before yesterday's air crash, the haze covering South-East Asia had claimed its first victims as Indonesia reported two deaths from respiratory problems linked to the smog.

Can you really train your eyes to see better?

A new video claims that you can improve your sight with `eyerobics'. Colette Harris takes a beady look

Letter: Babies saved from rubella

Letter: Babies saved from rubella

What to expect from an eye test

A regular eye test is not just about getting glasses - it can help detect eye disease before it affects sight. It should be carried out every two years, take about half an hour and include:

Couldn't we decorate hospital corridors with creative arrangements of essential supplies rather than live plants?

How are you off for guidelines? I've got loads - more than I can cope with - so allow me to share a few. First up is a lime-green book for amnesiac GPs called Guidelines - and it's packed full of them. There are even two guidelines on the use of guidelines: "Guidelines are systematic statements to assist decisions about appropriate health care" and: "Guidelines should be firmly based on reliable evidence of clinical and cost effectiveness." Gripping stuff, eh? But the point is well meant. In medicine, good guidelines reflect good science and good financial management. Unfortunately, a lot of the ones doctors use reflect out-of-date opinions or the profit margin of the pharmaceutical company that devised them. So it's nice to have a book that collects all the latest independent ones, even if it is peppered with irritating drug ads.

Lord Irvine helps blind magistrates

A long-standing campaign for blind people to be allowed to serve as magistrates paid off yesterday as Lord Irvine, the Lord Chancellor, announced he was seeking to appoint a pilot complement of six over the next 12 months.

Gray area

Spalding Gray can't even compose a bed-time story for his son,
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk