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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Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album