The £1 houses and thriving potteries that are making Stoke boom again

published about 9 hours ago
Dealt seemingly fatal blows by successive governments since the 80s, Stoke-on-Trent is at last starting to recoverWhen Gavin Pierpoint applied to Stoke council to become the owner of a £1 house in April 2013, his expectations were not high. For one thing, there was the selection process to get through, during which he would have to prove not only that he was capable of paying back the loan the council would make him for the property’s renovation – such a ... more

On my radar: Johnny Marr’s cultural highlights

published about 10 hours ago
The former Smiths guitarist on modernism and magazines, Paul Klee and art manifestos, Maxine Peake – and what impeccable taste his fans haveBorn John Maher in Manchester on 31 October 1963, Johnny Marr formed the Smiths with singer Morrissey in 1982, and was widely regarded as the driving force behind their unique sound. Between 1984 and 1988, the band released four studio albums, including The Queen Is Dead, and a live LP. All received widespread critical acclaim. Since then, Marr ... more

Face blindness – when you can’t recognise a familiar face

published about 11 hours ago
In a winning essay for the Wellcome Trust science writing prize, Kate Szell reports on research into prosopagnosia – face blindnessLast month, Kate Szell was judged the winner of the Wellcome Trust’s science writing prize in category B for “anyone with a non-professional interest, including undergraduates”. More than 640 articles were submitted in total, with the top 20 judged by a panel consisting of neuroscientist Sophie Scott, materials scientist Mark Miodownik, science writer Anjana Ahuja, the Observer’s Nicola Davis, the ... more

Number of GPs seeking to leave UK and work abroad doubles under coalition

published about 11 hours ago
Pressures of UK’s ageing population take heavy toll on NHS morale – and endanger patient safety, say doctors’ leadersThe number of GPs applying to leave the NHS annually to practise abroad has doubled under the coalition, raising fresh concerns over its handling of the health service.The exodus risks exacerbating the current backlogs in GP practices and the pressures on A&E departments, according to the Royal College of GPs, which has warned that 600 practices may close in the next year ... more

What’s next for the world’s 5 million IVF babies?

published about 12 hours ago
Studying 20 years’ worth of data is helping scientists to understand the long-term health effects of IVF – and how to improve its success rate and safetyWhen in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) began in 1978, some scientists were worried that the babies born as a result of it might suffer birth defects and health problems.Intensive research in the early years, and a thriving population that has now grown to more than 5 million IVF children worldwide, have reassured scientists, but they have ... more