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.

In the land of the blind, Lord Archer is king

'Two men agree that one will tell only the truth, the other only lies. Both get into terrible messes'

Letter: Welfare cuts

TOM LEVITT MP states that "no future claimants of DLA [disability living allowance] and other disability benefits will see their entitlement to incapacity benefit [IB] reduced" (Letters, 14 November). This is utterly wrong. No protection has been offered to people who fail the new contribution test - regardless of how severely disabled they are. The only group who will be protected in future are IB claimants who also receive DLA highest- rate care component, ie, those who need 24-hour care. This small group, which constitutes less than 2 per cent of IB claimants, will be exempted from the pensions means test. But, of course, few people move from work one day to needing 24-hour care the next. In practice people will find their benefit is reduced by the means test over several years, while their condition deteriorates to the point where they finally qualify for the highest rate of DLA care. The vast majority of people we regard as severely disabled - double amputees, blind people, paraplegics etc - will not be protected at all.

Letters: Internet switch-off

Sir: Eva Pascoe ("What I would really like from my.govern-ment.com", 20 September) feels frustrated as a taxpayer unable to find information which might enable her to participate in our "new media age" of online government.

Guide dogs take the biscuit at Labour conference

LABOUR has come up with a new weapon against dissent at its party conference - dog biscuits, writes Marie Woolf.

Cataract surgery harmed patients

AN INQUIRY has been launched at Southampton General Hospital after cataract operation patients have ended up with damaged corneas.

Blindness risk to contact lens users

CONTACT-LENS users should remove their lenses at night to avoid the risk of infection that can lead to blindness, experts warn today.

A Question of Health

I AM gradually becoming covered with soft lumps under the skin of my arm and trunk. They do not hurt or cause any real problems, but I am concerned they may turn cancerous. My doctor says that they are fatty lumps that will do no harm. Am I worrying needlessly?

Health: But the blind shall see...

British surgeons are restoring eyesight to the blind, by using a controversial new technique that involves grafting pieces of amniotic membrane on to damaged eyes.

Health: The future is blurred

Half of us could be short-sighted soon - and it may be an evolutionary consequence of modern lifestyles. Roger Dobson looks at a worrying development, while Eileen Fursland (below) finds a new surgical procedure offers hope to the blind

Light on at night `damages eyesight'

CHILDREN UNDER two who sleep with a night-light on are three times more likely to develop shortsightedness than children who sleep in the dark. A study of the risk factors associated with myopia has revealed a strong link between shortsightedness and ambient light levels at night.

Independent Pursuits: Creativity Loki

JOB LOSSES. Huge entry, so only one go each.

Surgeons still try to cover up errors

DOCTORS ARE still reluctant to tell patients when they make an error, despite warnings that they could be struck off if they try to bury their mistakes.

Looking out for the invaders

The immune system is designed to fight infection, but it can be confused by drugs and supplements. By Roger Dobson

Flat Earth: The first Monica

GIVEN WHAT has been going on not far from Georgetown, you would not especially envy someone called Monica Monica.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
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