878,398 articles

‘Force of nature’: ex-rugby player Doddie Weir leaves lasting legacy, say admirers

Scotland and British and Irish Lions legend died over the weekend from motor neurone diseaseDoddie Weir, the former Scotland and British and Irish Lions rugby union player who died over the weekend from motor neurone disease, leaves “a lasting legacy” and will, admirers said, be remembered as a man who helped transform people’s understanding of the disease.Weir’s death aged 52 was...

How Emily Wilson turned her teenage X Factor humiliation into comedy gold

A brutal take-down on the TV talent show led Emily Wilson into therapy. A decade later, she has turned her grim experience into award-winning standupIt’s not that Emily Wilson used to be secretive about the fact that, as a teenager, she’d appeared on the American incarnation of the X Factor. Rather, it hadn’t exactly gone well for her – awfully, actually – and by the time she was a...

Readers reply: will we ever set up an outpost on another planet?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical conceptsThis week’s question: Will there ever be world government, and would we want it?Will we ever set up an outpost on another planet? Finnley Clarkson, SheffieldSend new questions to nq@theguardian.com. Continue...

The Song of the Cell by Siddhartha Mukherjee review – mysteries of the building blocks of life

The prizewinning author’s timely, precise study traces our attempts to understand the units that have such an impact on our healthIn spring 1858, the German scientist Rudolf Virchow published an unorthodox vision of the nature of living organisms. In his book, Cellular Pathology, he argued that the human body was simply “a cell state in which every cell is a citizen”. From a single...

Lost city of Atlantis rises again to fuel a dangerous myth

Millions have watched Netflix hit Ancient Apocalypse, which is just the latest interpretation of an enduring tale. But in its appeal to ‘race science’ it’s more than merely controversialFor a story that was first told 2,300 years ago, the myth of Atlantis has demonstrated a remarkable persistence over the millennia. Originally outlined by Plato, the tale of the rise of a great, ancient...