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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee