Bhaskar Deepanju

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Designer babies: an ethical horror waiting to happen?

Nearly 40 years since the first ‘test-tube baby’, how close are we to editing out all of our genetic imperfections – and should we even try to do so?<p>Comfortably seated in the fertility clinic with Vivaldi playing softly in the background, you and your partner are brought coffee and a folder. Inside …

Genetics

Inside the ‘black box’ of human development

Researchers will soon have the means to study embryos beyond the 14-day legal limit. Does the potential for advances in medicine outweight ethical concerns?<p>It is not birth, marriage or death, but gastrulation that is truly the most important time in your life.”<p>When the eminent embryologist Lewis …

Algorithms outdo us. But we still prefer human fallibility

As technology becomes ever smarter, we cling to a comforting divide between people and machines<p>There are no monuments to Ned Ludd. This may be because there is no certainty that the man whose name was adopted by insurrectionary textile workers at the start of the 19th century actually existed. But …

Journalism

Karl Ove Knausgaard: what makes life worth living?

Apples, plastic bags, teeth – the bestselling Norwegian author brings his forensic attention to everyday objects to explain the world in a letter to his unborn baby<p>August 28. Now, as I write this, you know nothing about anything, about what awaits you, the kind of world you will be born into. And I …

How genetics is settling the Aryan migration debate

The thorniest, most fought-over question in Indian history is slowly but surely getting answered: did Indo-European language speakers, who called …

‘I can’t fight anorexia any more. I’ve tried so hard’

Pip McManus died three years after becoming ill with an eating disorder. Her parents explain how medical care failed their daughter<p>Marie McManus wants to show me the final photograph taken of her daughter Pip. It was 9 December 2015, and the 15-year-old is standing on the platform of a railway …

Shulem Deen: ‘When I lost God, I lost my children, too’

Divorce after leaving a strict Jewish community cut Shulem Deen off from his sons and daughters – to live as a lonely stranger in the secular world<p>What must it mean when a loss of faith exacts a terrible price – the loss of one’s children?<p>Shulem Deen knows all too well how high this price is. He is …

Why the mega-success of ‘Baahubali 2’ will be difficult for other directors to replicate

SS Rajamouli’s hugely successful two-part fantasy epic signals the arrival of the pan-Indian movie, but it will be hard to replicate.<p>An old Facebook …

Samuel Beckett, the maestro of failure

Better known for his plays, Beckett felt his prose fiction was his central work, and his fearlessly bleak short stories are among the 20th century’s greatest<p>Fifty years ago, in the summer of 1966, Samuel Beckett wrote a short story called Ping. It begins:<p>All known all white bare white body fixed …

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<b>, is released in June in the UK by Head of Zeus...</b><p><b>“Without the conquests of Caesar there would have been no Roman Empire – and, so many of us</b> …

Ancient History

How statistics lost their power – and why we should fear what comes next

The ability of statistics to accurately represent the world is declining. In its wake, a new age of big data controlled by private companies is taking over – and putting democracy in peril<p>In theory, statistics should help settle arguments. They ought to provide stable reference points that everyone …

Why don’t I enjoy life? You asked Google – here’s the answer

Every day millions of internet users ask Google life’s most difficult questions, big and small. Our writers answer some of the commonest queries<p>I’d like to begin by shelving the obvious, contemporary answer to the question “Why don’t I enjoy life?”: “Because you have a chemical imbalance in your …

Assessing agony: Is pain in the body or the mind or both?

And how do you measure it?<p>One night in May, my wife sat up in bed and said, “I’ve got this awful pain just here.” She prodded her abdomen and made a …

Arthritis

From Macaulay to Frawley, from Doniger to Elst: Why do many Indians need White saviours?

Would non-White Indologists evoke such passions as the likes of Sheldon Pollock and Wendy Doniger or David Frawley and Koenraad Elst do?<p>There is a …

Why time management is ruining our lives

All of our efforts to be more productive backfire – and only make us feel even busier and more stressed<p>The eternal human struggle to live meaningfully in the face of inevitable death entered its newest phase one Monday in the summer of 2007, when employees of Google gathered to hear a talk by a …

‘I was prosecuted for helping Syrian refugees’

When I offered a lift to a Syrian refugee family trying to cross Denmark, I had no idea I would end up in court charged with people smuggling<p>I didn’t grow up in an orderly middle-class family with cosy Sunday lunches, people laughing and talking. I was brought up in a shabby cottage outside a …

There is no winning the Objectification Olympics. Sexual rivalry is a lose-lose situation, ladies

Seeding sexual rivalry amongst women has been pure gold for the double standards of the patriarchy.<p>We’re walking past the breastaurant Hooters in …

Feminism

Will Self: Are humans evolving beyond the need to tell stories?

Neuroscientists who insist technology is changing our brains may have it wrong. What if we are switching from books to digital entertainment because of a change in our need to communicate?<p>A few years ago I gave a lecture in Oxford that was reprinted in the Guardian under the heading: “The novel is …

The shocking murder of Spain’s most flamboyant politician

The brazen killing of Isabel Carrasco scandalised the nation. But when police began to investigate, they uncovered an even darker story of power, corruption and betrayal. By Giles Tremlett<p>• Help fund our journalism by becoming a Guardian Supporter.<p>On 12 May 2014, just after 5.15pm, two …

Liquid assets: how the business of bottled water went mad

How did a substance that falls from the air, springs from the earth and comes out of your tap become a hyperactive multibillion-dollar business?<p>The dress code of the clientele in Planet Organic, Notting Hill is gym chic. On a hot day in mid-August, the men wore mid-thigh shorts, pectoral-enhancing …

Jack Nicholson

Mastering Portion Sizes - My Fearless Kitchen

Shares 0<p>What is an appropriate portion size? How do you know? How can you tell? Do you need to bust out the measuring cups every time you grab a …

Recipes

Barcelona’s Andrés Iniesta: ‘I was a victim of something that terrified me’

The Barcelona midfielder opens up about the time, before the 2010 World Cup, when he stopped feeling like a footballer and had to seek professional help<p>Andrés Iniesta says he heard the silence and knew that all he had to do was wait for Isaac Newton. The ball sat up; gravity would bring it down …

SlutWalks and short skirts: When (and how) a woman’s modesty became linked to her clothes

Any enforcement of women’s modesty is proof of the failure of that culture.<p>The policing of women begins insidiously, cloaked casually and …

Feminism

How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich

The inside story of how the Republicans abandoned the poor and the middle class to pursue their relentless agenda of tax cuts for the wealthiest one …

Income Inequality

Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

How the GOP presidential candidate and his private equity firm staged an epic wealth grab, destroyed jobs – and stuck others with the bill<p>The great …

Mitt Romney

Why do Indian and Pakistani textbooks tell wildly different histories?

The History Project juxtaposes the Indian and Pakistani versions of history in schoolbooks to underline the obvious biases.<p>In one of her most …

TED Talks

From pioneering businesses to conquering US television, four Indians show us that all is within reach

TV

Operation #BetiUthao

The Sangh’s Stolen Child Crusade<p><i>How the parivar flouted every law on children to traffic 31 young tribal girls from Assam to Punjab and Gujarat to</i> …

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