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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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
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Raheem Sterling of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal
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A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
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Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

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Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
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Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
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Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
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Vietnam
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South Africa
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Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Scandi crush: Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

Th Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn
Rebranding Christmas: More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence

Rebranding Christmas

More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence. They are missing the point, and we all need to grow up