News

Although it might seem a fairly obvious observation, a new study from the University of Iowa has found not only that men, on average, have noses ten per cent larger than womens', they’ve also worked out why this might be.

Leading article: Bolt from the blue

Once upon a time there was the Big Bang theory of the origins of the universe. Now, you could say, we have another, more local, "big bang" – for the origin of life on Earth. According to scientists in Arizona, the crucial components necessary for life to start may not have been generated by our own planet in the first instance, but come from somewhere deep in outer space, carried by the barrage of meteorites that crashed into the earth four billion years ago. The key is the discovery that a meteorite was capable of providing nitrogen-containing ammonia.

Arctic Circle? No, Aberdeen

To many Scots, "The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen" is a popular traditional song by Mary Webb – the sort of thing your Uncle Jimmy might sing after too many wee drams at Hogmanay, writes Victoria Summerley.

Picture of the Day: Green sky at night, northern delight...

The aurora borealis, or northern lights, hangs like a fluorescent curtain over the village of Ersfjordbotn, near Tromso in northern Norway.

Two parts Hydrogen and one Oxygen; James Cameron’s recipe for disaster

The new 3D film to take the silver screen by storm is Sanctum, the cave-diving adventure produced by the man behind 2009’s biggest hit, Avatar. Laura Davis takes a look at what - other than the extra dimension - makes the film stand out.

David Flatman: I'm riding Tour de France to get fit but still have a mountain to climb

From the Front Row: As Bath's band of injury victims are flogged relentlessly in training, the motivation to return to action has never been greater

Inside the hospital that saves swine flu sufferers' lives

As the number of people with the virus grows, Jeremy Laurance visits one of just five units in Britain that can treat the worst afflicted

Can air pressure help healing?

Under the microscope

Science grapples with the concept that alien life may be among us

It is life, but not as we know it. The first life form on Earth to use deadly arsenic as one of its chemical building blocks has been discovered in a desert lake in California.

Into the abyss: The diving suit that turns men into fish

Humans have proven themselves remarkably adept at learning to do what other animals can do naturally. We have taught ourselves to fly like birds, climb like monkeys and burrow like moles. But the one animal that has always proven beyond our reach is the fish.

The secrets of evolution unearthed in Highlands

The key moment in the history of life on Earth – the tipping point at which there was enough oxygen in the atmosphere to support the evolution of complex animals and plants – occurred about 400 million years earlier than previously thought, a study has found.

Album: Anthony and the Johnsons, Swanlights (Rough Trade)

This can be bought as an album, or with a 144-page hardback book of Antony Hegarty's collages - takes its cue from the previous album's "One Dove", extending further the notions of fauna, flux and transformation that have driven Antony's music since I Am A Bird Now.

Steve Connor: The promise of an unlimited supply for transfusions

More than two million units of blood – some 250,000 gallons – are handled by the transfusion service each year. Yet shortages can and do happen, especially around holiday periods and special events, such as the recent World Cup, when many donors stayed at home.

There will be blood

The most precious liquid in the world is spilled every day on battlefields and in operating theatres. So creating a synthetic version in the lab is more vital than ever, says Roger Dobson

Gulf of Mexico spill has dissipated

The oil slick from the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which threatened beaches and wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico, has largely vanished just two weeks after the crippled BP oil well was finally capped.

'Rotten-egg smell delayed the evolution of animals'

The smell of rotten eggs is off-putting at the best of times, but now scientists believe the same chemical responsible for the awful smell may have held back the evolution of life.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
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news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
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Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
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Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
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Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
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Ross Burden pictured in 2002
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A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried