News A statue depicting a Neanderthal. Scientists have discovered that Neanderthal genes passed on to modern humans could affect our likelihood of developing auto-immune diseases.

The likelihood of people developing diseases including type two diabetes and Crohn's could be affected by genes inherited from Neanderthals

Men let off the hook by banishing blame

Defending the Caveman: Apollo Theatre London

Home Life: House Doctor

A ST VALENTINE'S DIY singles evening in the local B&Q might not be everyone's idea of a chance to meet destiny, but it's happening, apparently, all over the country. This appearance of the building materials industry in the "heartsearch and romance" columns is not because DIY has become the new rock-and-roll - whatever you read in the papers - but because of the large numbers of twenty and thirty-something single people who have been cajoled onto the home-buying treadmill, and who don't have the slightest idea about how to look after their property. When they were arranging the mortgage, nobody took them aside to point out that home ownership entailed the upkeep of a few hundred tonnes of assorted bricks, mortar, plaster, timber, slates, copper pipes and cables - for richer or poorer - till they flogged it on to someone else.

The 5,000-year-old mystery of a bump on the head

A FILM EDITOR is trying to find out whether a pronounced bump that gives his head the shape of a German soldier's coalscuttle helmet links him to a woman buried 5,000 years ago in a tomb in the Orkneys.

Books: Why the Romans were so heavy

The Modern Antiquarian

DNA links `Stone Age' tribe to first humans linked by DNA to

SCIENTISTS MAY have found the direct descendants of one of the first tribes of early humans to emerge out of Africa about 100,000 years ago.

Saturday Profile: Mesolithic Man - Stone Age man had the time of his life

ten years ago we would have thought that this man was the type who, on finding his mother dead one morning, might roll her body into a shallow trench before heading off, grunting, to catch his lunch, or perhaps drag a woman by the hair back to his cave.

Scientists find the ultimate pre-modernist architecture

ARCHAEOLOGISTS HAVE identified the oldest tomb in Western Europe, pushing back the region's architectural history by almost 1,000 years.

In the beginning...

Omnipotence is terribly boring. How do I know? Well, with the first computer I ever had (A BBC model B) came a game called Yellow River Kingdom. It involved playing the chief of a tribe, and ruling a stone- age village. It was a revelation: traditional ideas of "winning" or "losing" didn't apply. As long as the village didn't run out of food, the game continued. It was one of the first "God" games. Because Yellow River Kingdom was written in Basic, it was easy to reinterpret what being God actually meant. You could look through the code to see how the game worked - the equivalent of having a chat with the Creator. Then you could tweak the parameters to your advantage, at which point, for all practical (and metaphysical) purposes, you had become a deity. But then, having been dismantled, the game quickly lost its allure.

What future for the female boss?

OFFICE workers are marching towards a bright, relaxing, hi-tech future encumbered by stone-age views on female bosses, especially among women themselves.

Mix-ups: Princess Di marge, Mrs Bean, misquotations, and some curious DNA

SIX MONTHS after the death of the Princess of Wales, her memory is being cherished with margarine and - should Mr Peter Bottomley have his way - seat-belts. The former Transport minister has been saying he thinks that a new "Wear Your Seatbelt" campaign should feature history's most famous car-crash victim as a kind of awful warning; and his tactful suggestion coincides with the arrival of the first tubs of Flora margarine bearing her signature (and sanctioned by the Princess's Charitable Trust, proceeds to God knows where) on the shelves of your local SavaCentre.

Evolutionary sexology: What can our DNA tell us about sex in the Oval O ffice?

"There is not a sexual relationship; that is accurate," said President Clinton, answering a question from Jim Lehrer about his association with Monica Lewinsky. Whatever position you take on the President's sexual appetite - kneeling, missionary or biblically stone-throwing - we can presumably all agree that he was telling the truth at this moment. Even a man as haplessly incontinent as Big Bill must have realised that it would be unwise to try and sneak Monica into the Oval Office stationery cupboard at the very apogee of the scandal. But shouldn't Mr Lehrer, one of America's more experienced television interviewers, have noticed that the President had surreptitiously fiddled with the tense of the question before replying to it? "You had no sexual relationship with this young woman?" Lehrer had asked, a temporally inclusive inquiry which Clinton's oddly precise answer didn't match. Elsewhere in the interview too there were oddities of expression which seemed to hint at long hours spent with advisors, calculating just how he might trace a narrow and mazy path between an indefensible lie and damaging admission.

Books: From stone age to space suit

For most of our history, humans were hunter-gatherers. Steven Pinker's stimulating book argues that this left us with a brain better adapted to solve the problems of the Stone Age than to meet the challenges of today

Science: Neanderthal man's feast of goodies

Christmas dinner in Neanderthal times, about 50,000 years ago on the shores of the sea by Gibraltar, was a mixed affair. Scientists excavating ancient caves beneath the giant Rock have discovered that the peoples who lived in Europe before homo sapiens ate a wider variety of foods than had previously been thought.

ON THE ANCESTOR TRAIL

The search for human origins can provoke all sorts of fireworks. Marek Kohn on the storm that greeted one Australian theory
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own