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

Pressure carries over to this year's Edinburgh Festival for Ella Hickson

In 2008 Ella Hickson burst on to the Edinburgh Festival scene with Eight, a play she wrote and directed at the tail end of her final year studying at Edinburgh University. Debuting in the perhaps less-than-fashionable venue of the University's own Bedlam Theatre, this series of monologues would go on to win a Fringe First and enjoy successful transfers to New York and London. Hickson's age at the time, 23, surely helped convince people they had a singular talent on their hands.

Student finance: find an account that works for you

Don’t be swayed by freebies, go for a bank that offers the best overdraft deal

Alexander McCall Smith: The No1 novelist's guide to Edinburgh

Alexander McCall Smith is a one-man literary industry. He has sold 40 million books, travels obsessively and churns out four or five new novels a year. But what he really likes are Belgian shoes, saddleback pigs and leisurely strolls around his beloved Edinburgh neighbourhood

Parents reject 'suicide pact' claim over deaths

The parents of a student who died in a suspected suicide pact have insisted it was a "tragic accident".

Recent graduates employ new tactics to tackle the job market

With youth unemployment at record levels, young people have been hit hardest by this recession. The situation will be compounded at the end of this month when another year of school-leavers and university graduates tries to enter the labour market.

Moral Combat, By Michael Burleigh

Michael Burleigh announces a book about "the prevailing moral sentiment of entire societies and their leaderships... as well as what might be called the moral reasoning of individuals", in the moral cauldron of the Second World War. Not a military history, then, but a mentality history: "There is also the matter of moral judgement," he adds, with a touch of menace, by which he means understanding on-the-spot behaviour, as he calls it, and avoiding armchair hindsight. "Wars are not conducted according to the dessicated deliberations of a philosophy seminar full of pursed-lipped old maids," he writes, characteristically, "and the threshold of what could be countenanced evolved over time and under the pressure of circumstances as sensitivities dulled and scruples relaxed."

Breakthrough in study of motor neurone disease

Human nerve cells carrying a critical mutation linked with motor neurone disease have been created in the laboratory for the first time from the skin cells of affected patients. The breakthrough could lead to new treatments for the debilitating disease.

The Clientele, ICA, London

Dream team keep it surreal

Great Lives, Radio 4<br/>Fu Manchu in Edinburgh, Radio 4

That's the theatre for you &ndash; all socks and violence

The Regions: Scotland

Labour faces pincer of Nationalists and Conservatives

Dylan Jones: 'David Nicholls' book is the sort of thing you can't put down

It is, as they say, something of a sleeper. In the past two weeks, six people I know have said they've just finished reading One Day by David Nicholls, a novel that has been on my bedside cabinet for the past three months, and which I have just finished myself. The premise is a simple but effective one: two students – the delightful Emma and the appalling Dexter – at Edinburgh University have a post-finals fling on 15 July 1988, and the book picks up their relationship every year for the following 20 years.

Instant vintage &ndash; hoard of 70s clothing found

Thousands of unworn garments discovered in a Glasgow warehouse

English attack 'bias' at Edinburgh University

For generations, English students have flocked north to Edinburgh in search of a world-class education. Charles Darwin, the two-time Prime Minister Lord Palmerston and the novelist Bruce Chatwin were just three of the university's most celebrated Sassenach alumni.

The pill is given health all-clear

Women who have ever used the contraceptive pill are less likely to die from any cause, including all types of cancer and heart disease, one of the world's biggest studies has confirmed.

Matthew Bell: The <i>IoS</i> Diary (21/02/10

Never gives up, even in Lent
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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
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Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao is yet to prove his fitness
footballAll the action from today's games
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David Silva strokes home his and City's second goal
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The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas