Art by Rob Doyle on a traffic light box in Cabra, inspired by a game Hamilton invented

Plus: Cast your vote to tackle a major European problem

Atlas of Mammals in Ireland project is mapping where wild mammals are – and it wants your help

A French cod-fishing boat handling a large trawl. Photograph: Marcel Mochet/AFP/Getty Images

A Trinity project is examining how cod fisheries shaped human diets and practices in centuries past, and what this tells us about (...)

Dr Jessamyn Fairfield, an organiser of Bright Club Dublin and improv performer

Plus: artistic surprises at the National Botanic Gardens

The Cravings exhibition experiment about how combinations of sensory cues affect flavour perception. Photograph: copyright Science Museum, London

‘Cravings’ exhibition at London Science Museum explores what happens in our brains and guts when we indulge in tasty fare

Mary Njenga processing samples at the OpenBiome stool bank in the  US.

Introducing someone else’s microbes could help with recurring bowel infections

Growing their Stem businesses: Mary Carty (third from right) with some of the participants in Outbox Incubator

Outbox Incubator in London provides support for talented young entrepreneurs, some of whom are Irish

Augmented reality: a Daqri helmet being demonstrated at DCU’s 36-hour hackathon

Hackathons, a popular ‘sport’ for innovators, are a fun way of coming up with new ideas

An event at last year’s Festival of Curiosity

The four-day, family-friendly festival has something for everyone

Ariel Waldman at Inspirefest in Dublin recently: ‘I want to give people the same realisation that I had a few years ago in discovering that I could contribute to space exploration in a meaningful way despite not having a background in it.’ Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography helps people to find ways to contribute to space research. No formal training is required

Coder Ciara Whelan (9), whose project is all about making her doll’s house interactive with an Intel Galileo board. Photograph: Conor McCabe

Some 500 projects will go on display in the RDS on June 13th

Photograph: Thinkstock

‘The symptoms of chronic itch can be more bothersome than the underlying disease,’ says one researcher who is working on ways to b(...)

Tiny patients have particular needs, and that is why some investigator-led clinical studies in Ireland are looking to develop better ways to cater for them, including how best to prevent infections being introduced from the equipment itself.  Photograph: Thinkstock

Investigator-led clinical trials in Ireland are seeking to meet the medical needs of tiny babies

Biobanks seek to collect samples from patients and store them safely for researchers who could find them useful: perhaps tomorrow, or perhaps even years down the line. Photograph: Thinkstock

Biobanks collect and store tissue, cell, blood and urine samples to find out more about diseases

Rick O’Shea introduces a talk by Dr David Mc Keown at last year’s Pint of Science

Access Science: Themes for this year’s fesival, which moves science to the pub, include sports, obesity and smart devices

A Sira poison frog (Ranitomeya sirensis)

There is a big question mark over how amphibians in the Peruvian rainforest make poison. The answer might have important medical i(...)

Prof Fergus Shanahan: ‘The trillions of bugs that colonise our skin, our bowel and our lungs gives us our immune education.’ Photograph: Tomas Tyner, UCC.

From gut bugs to inter-related bodily systems, chronic inflammatory conditions need a ‘big-picture’ perspective if we are to tackl(...)

Crowdfunding: ‘It has to be the correct flavour for the correct cause’

Parkinson’s research and water treatment in Kenya are two examples of successful crowdfunded efforts

Mags Mullarney’s social enterprise, Move4Parkinson’s, is helping people with the condition to understand how they can take a more active role in managing their life. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

From set-dancing to choir sessions, Mags Mullarney’s social enterprise Move4Parkinson’s is helping people with the degenerative co(...)

Left to right: Sadhbh O’Muirí (Dunshaughlin Community College), Lydia Koilparambil (St Dominic’s Cabra), Mary Ishabigi (St Dominic’s Cabra) and Niamh Scanlon (Girls Hack Ireland mentor) at Girls Hack Ireland in DCU

Dublin City University hosts first ever all-girls hackathon

TEDx talk: Adam Harris tries to give the  audience at DCU an insight into being a person on the autistic spectrum.

Adam Harris is a social entrepreneur who wants to give people with autism in Ireland more of a voice, and to encourage an autism-f(...)

Mary Nally, the founder of Third Age, a national voluntary organisation that represents older people. Photograph: Alan Betson

Social entrepreneur Mary Nally saw how older people could help others in the community and set up the Third Age organisation to ha(...)

 Liam Redmond of HeadstARTS at the club for people with intellectual disability with some volunteers at DCU. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Social entrepreneur Liam Redmond wants to build a network of clubs for people with intellectual disabilities to learn the arts

Jean O’Brien, founder of Irish Charity Lab, which was set up last year to help charities in Ireland develop skills and strategies for digital communications to support their causes. Photograph:  Laurence McMahon/Laurence J Photography

Social entrepreneur Jean O’Brien is helping Irish charities get a healthier return from their digital communications

Start the siren: cabbage white caterpillars attack. Photograph: Thinkstock

A study has found that plants recognise the chewing vibrations of insect herbivores and mount appropriate chemical defences

John Kearney, chief executive of Irish Community Rapid Response, in  Baltimore, west Cork. Photograph: Emma Jervis Photography

John Kearney is expanding a rapid response programme to get medical assistance to local emergencies

Jennifer Ryan of MyLife Solutions: ‘The idea that I am an entrepreneur baffles me; I don’t have a business head.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Psychologist Jennifer Ryan is helping children to build up skills to protect against bullying

Ray Burke of Active Connections pictured in Farran Woods, Cork. Photograph:  Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Social entrepreneur Ray Burke uses adventure activities to push young people out of their comfort zone and help them address negat(...)

Dr David McKeown, a research engineer at University College Dublin: ‘It will be just me and the microphone and that is scary.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Access Science: Researchers will take to a stage in Dublin to inform audiences while also making them laugh

The Earth seen in relation to a solar eruption needs your time and brainpower to compare sunspot groups

Claire O’Connell at home in Dublin, trying to improve her life month by month. Photograph: Alan Betson

Instead of giving yourself one massive challenge at the beginning of the year, why not change habits one month at a time?

Dr Cliona Murphy: is taking part in the BioInnovate programme at NUI Galway

Winning idea looks to make it safer to introduce devices into arteries through needle puncture

Online reviews form a treasure trove of information, whether people are looking for advice or leaving their own opinions for others to read

Online reviews offer a trove of information for fellow customers, and researchers in UCD are figuring out how to analyse what the(...)

Taste is a powerful sense and can evoke vivid memories, but the primary function of our senses is far more basic. Background: a microscopic image of a tongue and taste buds. Images: Thinkstock, Getty

Our ancestors’ perception of taste was important for survival and thriving. Now researchers are trying to produce food with reduce(...)

Dr Cliona Murphy, a consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Getting gynaecological issues checked out in good time can pay dividends for quality of life

Émer Hickey, Sophie Healy-Thow and Ciara Judge from Kinsale, Co Cork, winners of the BT Young Scientists of the Year 2013 title. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Three girls whose passion has had award-winning and groundbreaking results offer tips for excelling at science

Dr David Mckeown, based at UCD is using maths to control space rocket vibrations

From freak waves to gut bugs, Irish scientists are working to crack some of the imponderables in life

Sthenurines: the largest of the species could grow to an estimated 240kg

Did extinct Sthenurines stride rather than hop at low speeds?

A microscopic view of bacteria in the digestive system

Changing the day/night rhythms of mice leads to fluctuations in the rhythms of their gut microbes too

From left, Gerard Scully, Angela Doyle and Nicholas Nolan, participants in the chronic illness exercise rehabilitation programmes at DCU.

The Pathway system tracks participants’ movements and provides feedback during exercise sessions

‘Blood Vessels’ by Charlie Murphy

Some people ‘will love’ an upcoming exhibition about blood and ‘some will find it pretty tough’

A new website and app called Hello Brain, developed by researchers at Trinity College Dublin, offers suggestions for daily conditioning tips or “brain buffs”

Keeping your brain fit and active now could have a protective effect later on, and a new initiative called Hello Brain tells you(...)

A study is hooking up native Irish speakers with a portable ultrasound device that can capture how their tongue movements correspond with saying consonants in their broad and slender forms

The consonant sounds of the Irish language may be under threat, and are being documented for posterity

William Rowan Hamilton

The annual Hamilton Walk celebrates a famous Irish ‘Eureka’ moment

Tissue bank: researchers can apply to use the banked tissue and data to help develop more effective ways to diagnose and treat the relevant condition

Biobanking makes donated human tissue accessible for research, so why isn’t more of it being done?

Dr Pete Klimley in action

Pete Klimley believes that white sharks – the type portrayed in the film Jaws – do not like to eat humans because we don’t have en(...)

A ruby-throated hummingbird

All birds lack sweet taste perception. So why do hummingbirds gravitate towards nectar?

ESA’s team of astronaut trainers in the caves of Sardinia preparing for Caves 2014, a two-week course for astronauts to get to grips with living in extreme conditions

It turns out that caves are good for space training. But how?

‘Raindrop’ by Alistair McClymont, part of the ‘Strange Weather’ exhibition at the Science Gallery

A forthcoming event at the Dublin venue is all about ‘battening down the hatches and imagining you are trapped in a storm’

Mind what you say near bags of crisps

Researchers have shown how it is possible to ‘eavesdrop’ by filming vibrations on objects such as crisp packets

Liberian nurses carry the body of an Ebola victim from a home in the Banjor Community on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia. Photograph: EPA/AHMED JALLANZO

Derry-born scientist Dr Christopher Logue will travel to Guinea to help diagnose patients infected with the virus

A stuffed great horned owl

Two animal exhibitions are on show at the UCC venue

Remains at the prehistoric site at Al Khiday, central Sudan

Studies on ancient remains suggest that prehistoric people had a detailed understanding of plants long before agriculture

Tiny mite has been named Litarachna lopezae after the singer

Actor’s songs and videos ’kept researchers in a good mood’ when writing paper

Curious Science with theoretical physicist and comedian Dara O Briain will take place at Dublin’s Mansion House

The second Festival of Curiosity will host events including talks, guided walks, performances and discussions

Alice Ryan, organiser of the FutureBook Hack at the event in UCL. Photograph: Porter Anderson

A weekend-long workshop event in London generated new ideas about using digital technology in new ways for publishing

The octopus has a built-in non-stick mechanism that may have medical uses, according to researchers. Plus: When liquid meets solid(...)

Cliona O’Farrelly, professor of comparative immunology, and Luke O’Neill, professor of biochemistry, curators of the Fat: It’s Delicious exhibition in the Science Gallery, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

An exhibition at Dublin’s Science Gallery wants to broaden our perceptions of fat

Fat chance: Cliona O’Farrelly, professor of comparative immunology at Trinity College, with Luke O’Neill, professor of biochemistry at Trinity College,  at the Science Gallery. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Listen up: Claire O'Connell on a new exhibition - Fat, it's delicious - at the Science Gallery Dublin

The Pint of Science festival will see researchers give informal talks and take part in panel discussions in Dublin pubs

A butterfly and a bee sip the tears of a caiman in Costa Rica. Photograph courtesy of Dr Carlos de la Rosa A butterfly and a bee sip the tears of a caiman in Costa Rica. Photograph courtesy of Dr Carlos de la Rosa

Why would insects ‘drink’ a caiman’s tears?

The ProDural syringe has an inflating diaphragm at its tip designed to collapse when the needle is in place to aid a physician when administering an epidural

Irish start-ups made it to the finals of an international MedTech Idol competition in Dublin earlier this month – and one of th(...)

The Osteoid, the brainchild of Turkish designer Deniz Karasahin

The airy design makes it light, and the limb less prone to becoming itchy and smelly than with conventional casts

Prof Mike Lenardo

Advances in DNA genomics are helping researchers to understand conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s

Drosophila: an accomplished dancer. Photograph: Getty Images

‘Moonwalking’ drosophila flies are shedding new light on how the brain controls backward gait

Tian Tian: urine trouble. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Monitoring urine samples to increase the chances of two giant pandas reproducing is no mean feat

Dr Ivan Coulter of Sigmoid Pharma winning the Innovation of the Year award at the inaugural The Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards in 2010 – the company has a lead compound for ulcerative colitis heading into phase three clinical trials

With two weeks until the Irish Times InterTradeIreland awards, we see how two early winners have fared

The ‘Technology’ design, with electroluminescent wire and patches across the torso

The public can choose between three designs for the protective outer layer of the new garb

The findings of a new study debunk the belief that humans are terrible smellers

Prof John Foxe: believes incoming signals get combined early on as they are processed in the brain – much earlier than had been previously suspected. Photograph: Jason Torres

How we integrate the inputs from our senses could provide new insights into autism

Inspired by actor Alan Alda’s success with US scientists, a UCD workshop helps researchers find new ways to talk about their work (...)

‘In a pedestrian environment, inability to maintain a straight path would be likely to increase potential for collisions, trips and traffic accidents’

An Australian study has found that using a phone has an effect on gait

‘We assumed that people on Twitter had little time and they retweeted the most recent thing they saw, and we didn’t need to assume that some people have more followers’

University of Limerick researchers used a mathematical model to look at how information gets retweeted

Line-dancing in Nashville, Tennessee. Photograph: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

A sideways gait could be three times as expensive energetically as walking forward: good exercise, then

A cat exhibition in Kyrgyzstan last year. Photograph: Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP/Getty Images

A recent study claims to provide evidence for commensal relationships between people and cats from 5,300 years ago

Nasa’s Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating the red planet’s past or present ability to sustain microbial life. Image: Reuters/Nasa-JPL/Handout

The initial plan was for ‘Spirit’ and ‘Opportunity’ to spend just a few months trundling around the surface of Mars. But they kept(...)

Naked mole rat: appears to be cancer-resistant

It might not be cute, but Science magazine recently named the toothy underground rodent its ‘Vertebrate of the Year’ for 2013

A group at UCD’s school of physics uses low-power lasers to build up images of the living retina to better understand how light coming in from different angles is picked up. Image: Getty

Some scientists get deeply, personally involved in their research, whether by zapping their muscles as they sleep, using lasers on(...)

Cheese made using bacteria from the human armpit, bellybutton and foot, from Science Gallery exhibition Grow Your Own

Other out-there stories included a building powered by algae and ‘yawn contagion’ in dogs

“The area of digital learning is one which is exploding, literally exploding with potential,” says Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn

Ireland is caught behind the curve in digital learning, so can a new centre remedy the situation?

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, the world’s largest neutrino detector, at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. Photograph: Sven Lidstrom, IceCube/NSF via The New York Times

Discovery made at IceCube Neutrino Observatory

Ultra-high definition image of the transit of Venus (right) across the face of the sun last year. Photograph: Nasa via Getty Ultra-high definition image of the transit of Venus (right) across the face of the sun last year. Photograph: Nasa via Getty

Researchers have taken images of a dust ring, thought to be about 220 million kilometres in diameter

Gut bugs: a study of older people found that those who had less diverse diets tended to have less diverse populations of bacteria in their gut, and this was also linked with poorer health

Studies have uncovered links between particular foods and a healthy diversity in our intestinal ‘populations’

Researchers found that pop and rock trumped classical music for power-boosting effects

Researchers have found that playing popular tunes near a particular type of solar cell could improve photovoltaic efficiency

Russian astronaut Oleg Kotov holds an Olympic torch (in foreground) during a spacewalk as Russian astronaut Sergey Ryazansky gives instructions outside the International Space Station. Photograph: Reuters/Nasa TV/Handout via Reuters

The unlit torch arrived at the International Space Station last Thursday before returning to Earth this week

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