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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Minoan Crete and Santorini
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General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'