Sport Peyton Manning broke Tom Brady's record for touchdown passes in a season

Devastated by injury and dumped by his beloved team, one of the NFL’s all-time great quarterbacks is back in business and breaking records

Paperbacks: Solzhenitsyn cavorts at Studio 54

20th Century Dreams

Blueprint for creating artificial life is discovered Minimum genes to support living organisms found

A SIGNIFICANT milestone in the attempt to synthesise "artificial" life in a test tube hasbeen reached with the discovery of the minimal number of genes needed to support a living organism.

Network: The spies can't cope with information overload

THE CRESCENT moon hangs high in the eastern Silicon Valley sky: Venus shines bright, unblinking just below. The air is chill as three figures step out into the pre-dawn gloom and jog up Sand Hill Road, the Wall Street of hi-tech. Cassie the dog is, as usual, in the lead, her blinking LED collar marking the way. Spouse Linda jogs a few steps behind while I'm in my customary middle position. It's 6am.

Obituary: George V. Higgins

IT IS unquestionably unfair to dub any writer a one-book man, especially when he's published well over 20. Nevertheless in the case of George V. Higgins the fact has to be faced. He wrote superbly dialogued, complexly plotted, richly characterised novels - yet all just a slight variation on the same basic riff. And, as the years went by and the books stacked up, the similarities began to stand out, hardly helped by their author's reliance, more and more, on pure dialogue, to the point where narrative - scene descriptions, back-story, the intricate social hinterland against which the novels' events were played out - virtually disappeared. Until, in essence, all that remained was "two guys gabbing at each other" - or even one guy soliloquising for paragraph after paragraph, page after interminable page.

Film studies: She's classy. She's presidential. She's Reese

The unlikely names run together in chattery abandon - Parker Posey, Heather Graham, Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Alicia Silverstone, Drew Barrymore, Liv Tyler, Neve Campbell, Denise Richards, and so on. Los Angeles, crowded out with drop-dead kids, seems to require some Warholian likelihood that every one will get her chance in a picture. It's a sort of snapshot souvenir - proof that they were here. What's the risk, the system asks: you get new meat on the screen, a 10 for ravishing desirability, and the girl walks off with a few hundred grand and the experience. It's a start in life. Where's the harm, when the kids are wide-eyed know-nothings with this one loony sophistication - they seem to possess every acting pose gathered in a century of movies.

Science: How fiction can help science tell the truth

EUROPEAN LITERATURE and plays have, with rare exceptions, not been kind to science; they certainly have made no contribution to science. So it comes as a surprise to find, in a recent issue of the prestigious American journal Science, that several pages of a play, An Immaculate Misconception, are reproduced.

Letter: In Hoover's honour

Sir: If Chris Gulker would pause for a closer look at Hoover Tower, mid-jog, in his circuit along Sand Hill Road and through the Stanford University campus, he would discover that Stanford's distinctive landmark was named not "for the cross-dressing former head of the FBI", but for the former US President Herbert Hoover ("Outraged? A brisk jog is just the ticket", 16 August).

Network: Outraged? A brisk jog is just the ticket

IF JOGGING on Silicon Valley's Sand Hill Road is inspirational, then I'm one inspired fella. My wife, Linda, Cassie the dog and I jog here six mornings a week, alternating among three routes to keep it interesting. Any long-time jogger knows about runner's reverie. This is a trance-like state that overtakes the head as the feet, on autopilot, follow a well-worn trail.

US fall in crime `due to abortion'

AS THE crime rate has fallen in America, so politicians, intellectuals and everyone have puzzled over the reasons. Now two American academics have produced a theory that will infuriate virtually everyone: the fall in crime is the result of legalising abortion in the 1970s.

How we met: Ken Kesey & Ken Babbs

Ken Kesey, 64, was born in Oregon, and studied at Stanford University. Aged 23, he volunteered to take part in CIA-funded LSD experiments. His work in a psychiatric hospital helped inspire his book `One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' (1962). In 1964 he and a group of friends calling themselves the Merry Pranksters toured America in a psychedelically painted bus which they packed with acid

Tennis: Rubin makes Davenport sweat

THE WIMBLEDON champion and world No 1, Lindsay Davenport, was pushed all the way before beating Chanda Rubin 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford University in California.

Tennis: Henman rues his loss to Raoux

TENNIS

Ex-commando toughed out his early poll errors

THE ONE fact about Ehud Barak that is likely to win him most votes in today's election is that he is not Benjamin Netanyahu. It may be enough to make him prime minister.

Women more at risk from lung cancer

WOMEN SMOKERS are more at risk from lung cancer because they are genetically more susceptible to tobacco carcinogens, according to new research.
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

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Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor