Life and Style

Academics say half of US jobs could be automated within a decade or two

A colony of ants have set up home in the International Space Station as part of an experiment to see how their behavior changes in an environment of low gravity

Houston ... we have ants in space! Colony of 800 arrives on International Space Station

It's hoped the way they adapt their foraging behavior will help to develop smarter robots

Robots to get their own internet to share tips and learn from one another

“The goal is to allow robotic systems to benefit from the experience of other robots, paving the way for rapid advances in machine cognition"

Twin brothers who allegedly made millions from 'stock picking robot' scam ordered to pay back over £100,000

Twin brothers who allegedly made millions from a ‘stock picking robot’ scam have been ordered to pay back over £100,000.

Video gallery: meet Google's new robotic circus

Google's recent acquisition of Boston Dynamics means that the search giant now has access to bots that can stride, gallop and leap - see below to take a look at some of the most fascinating and advanced robots on YouTube

The six-wheeled Jader Rabbit rover is seent separating from the Chang'e-3 moon lander.

Gallery: China's Jade Rabbit rover sends back its first pictures from the Moon

The 600lb robot succesfully detached from the Chang'e-3 lander this weekend

Science Minister David Willetts: Britain can help send astronaut to Mars within 30 years

An astronaut could be walking on Mars within the next 30 years, the minister for universities and science predicted yesterday, as he pledged Britain’s support for a new “collaborative space race”.

Emily Mytton, Kelly Williams, Adam Godley and Victoria Mosely in 'From Morning to Midnight'

From Morning to Midnight, theatre review: 'A strangely hollow experience'

Lyttelton, National Theatre

Toulon fly-half Jonny Wilkinson let 11 points slip through his goal kicking inaccuracy

Exeter 9 Toulon 14 match report: Henry Slade sparkles but Jonny Wilkinson kicks Chiefs into touch

Wilkinson let 11 points slip away through missed kicks but valiant Chiefs are seen off thanks to late drop goal

PS4 game reviews: Killzone: Shadow Fall; Knack; Resogun

Killzone: Shadow Fall

Here come the bots: meet the seven types of robot that Google has purchased

Robots that carry, sort and see; Google has bought some real talent to kickstart its new division aimed at automating manufacturing and supply chains

Books of the year 2013: Children

The Book of Bedtime Stories (Walker, £14.99) consists of 10 original tales selected by Michael Rosen from more than 400 entries for last year's Mumsnet and Gransnet children's story competition. Each illustrated by an up-and-coming artist, themes range from the adventures of a pig-riding sheriff to the exciting rescue of a dancing bear. Beautifully produced, this could be a collector's item. Alex T. Smith's Claude in the Spotlight (Hodder, £4.99 paperback) tells how the amiable dog of the title, accompanied by his regular friend Sir Bobblysock, gets caught up in a theatrical performance that nearly goes terribly wrong. Illustrated on every page by the author, this cheerfully eccentric story is highly entertaining. So too is Bernardo Atxaga's The Adventures of Shola (Pushkin Children's Books, £14.99). Translated from the Basque by Margaret Jull Costa and lavishly illustrated by Mikel Valverde, these gently ironic stories about another small dog whose aspirations regularly outrun her abilities are totally charming.

British RoboThespian is a life sized humanoid robot designed for human interaction in a public environment

Video: International Robot Exhibition 2013

Robot makers show off their latest designs at the International Robot Exhibition (iREX) in Tokyo, Japan.

Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill in Star Wars

Star Wars sequel to hold open casting: Could you get a part?

Two lead roles in the next Star Wars movie are set to be filled by unknowns, as Disney, who bought Lucasfilm last year, will hold auditions open to the public this week. If you could play a "street smart and strong" orphaned girl, or a "smart capable" man in his 20s you could be one step away from Hollywood. Other parts also potentially on offer include...

Algorithm teaches robots that knifes and humans don't mix

"Corrective feedback" lets humans teach robots how to handle a range of everyday objects correctly, from sharp ones  like knives to fragile ones like eggs

The 10 Best Eco toys

Give your children an early lesson in values with this pick of educational and environmentally friendly playthings

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick