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Luhman 16B is the nearest brown dwarf to Earth, and the third nearest star system to our solar system

GTA 5: Rockstar bans gamers stealing in-game money worth millions

An alternate game world dubbed the 'cheater's pool' has been created for infringing players, but stats show that cheaters have accumulated trillions in in-game currency

Crab Nebula: Noble gas molecules detected in space for the first time

Molecular ions of argon hydride were detected in supernova remnant

Got a memory like a jellyfish? The best science books this Christmas

The best writing on science and technology always does far more than explain a given subject; it should explain it in such a way that our new knowledge rebounds upon us, helping us not only to better understand the world we live in, but how and why we are living in it.

Oscars of Science: Breakthrough Awards hands out $21m to transform physicists into rockstars

The awards go to scientists, not screen idols. But the lucrative Breakthrough Prizes are increasingly being spoken of as rivals to the Oscars

Gran Turismo 6 review (PS3): a garage full of fun, but the opposition is sadly lacking

The latest in the series goes up against Forza 5 - but which is the better racer?

Peter Higgs is to be honoured with a new £11m space technology centre named after him

The Nobel Prize for Peter Higgs recognises truth in an ancient Greek idea

The old system was familiar, the modern one somewhat more intimidating

Schools guilty of gender stereotyping, researchers claim

Half of state-funded schools in England are paying too little attention to the way gender stereotypes influence subject choices, researchers have claimed.

Grace Hopper: 107th birthday of American computer scientist marked with Google Doodle

The American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral has been honoured with a Google Doodle on what would have been her 107th birthday.

Darren Barker could be forced to retire after his hip problems resurfaced in defeat to Germany’s Felix Sturm

Boxing: Hip injury may force beaten Darren Barker to retire

Darren Barker could be forced to retire after his hip problems resurfaced in defeat to Germany’s Felix Sturm on Saturday night.

Spiders’ webs are covered with an electrically conductive glue, and they filter pollutants as well as catch insects

Power of the web: The secret of how spiders catch their prey

New research reveals that an electrical quirk sends a spider's woven silk springing towards its victims. Zander Swinburne unravels the science

Peter Higgs is to be honoured with a new £11m space technology centre named after him

Autumn Statement 2013: New space technology centre to be named after Peter Higgs, the father of the 'God particle'

Chancellor announces new £11m 'Higgs Centre for Innovation'

George Osborne is delivering his Autumn Statement

Autumn Statement 2013: 'Plan is working, but the job is not yet done', says George Osborne

The measures outlined by the Chancellor included the scrapping of the petrol tax rise of 2p a litre planned for next year

The NSA's offices in Fort Meade, Maryland

NSA collects data 'revealing location of five billion mobile phones every day'

The records allow US intelligence agents to establish not just the movements of individuals but to monitor who else they communicate with

Hawking: 'The NHS must be preserved from commercial interests who want to privatise it'

Stephen Hawking: NHS is Britain's finest public service and must be preserved from commercial interests

World-famous physicist, diagnosed with motor neurone disease at 21, said he would not be alive today without the service

Comet ISON enters the field of view of the European Space Agency/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory

Comet Ison: Blow for stargazers as 'comet of the century' destroyed by the Sun

It was hoped that the comet would provide a spectacular sight in the sky next month - but the signs indicate that it had been burned up on its journey

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there