European Southern Observatory: ESO is a very interesting body at the moment given it is spending more than €1 billion to build the European-Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), the largest telescope in the world when complete

The International Research Organisation review panel is considering if Ireland should stump up cash to join research bodies

EU Commissioner for research, science and innovation Carlos Moedas: “With public resources limited, it is even more essential to attract private R&D investment.”

Ireland’s history of innovation praised by new EU commissioner Carlos Moedas

Werner Nahm: left California for a professorship at Bonn University, but then moved to the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Photograph: Eric Luke

Prof Werner Nahm’s work in blending a rigorous mathematical discipline with theories about how the universe formed has had an inte(...)

NUI Galway scientists Dr Nicholas Devaney (left) of the school of physics at NUIG, and Dr Alexander Goncharov, who are developing optics technologies for use in large space telescopes. photograph:  Aengus McMahon

New ways studied to correct visual errors in space telescopes – and DVD players

  A section of the Ara OB1 Stellar Association photographed by the European Southern Observatory whose senior counsellor for international relations Claus Madsen said:   “If Ireland wants to be part of the global research community it has to have access to some of these international facilities.” Photograph: ESO/PA Wire

It is essential Irish scientists join European research, says observatory executive

Prof Orla Feely , Vice-President for Research , Innovation and Impact at UCD. Photograph: Eric Luke

Outgoing chairwoman Prof Orla Feely says we could be a world leader, but system must be ‘future proofed’ and look beyond overt eco(...)

Muscular dystrophy only affects young males and is the most common inherited neuro-muscular condition here, affecting one in 3,500 boys

Findings may lead to new treatments for inherited disorder

This map shows the rover’s entire traverse from landing Eagle Crater to its current location at Endeavour Crater. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/NMMNHS

The 42km journey completed in just ... 11 years 2 months

Two prototype sunburn indicators, one with the blue dye and one that has lost its colour after exposure to UV light that causes sunburn. Photograph: SunCatalyst Laboratories

Queen’s University Belfast inventor says colour-change bracelet on sale soon

Normally calm, considered and restrained, the scientists, engineers and mathematicians are as mad as hell and are determined to make themselves heard

A letter signed by 800 scientists frustrated at lack of funding for basic research comes just as the Government calls for submissi(...)

A short break in the clouds gives a glimpse of Friday’s partial eclipse of the sun from the front square in Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Some 1,000 stargazers gather in Trinity College as clearer conditions seen elsewhere

Hundreds are gathered at Trinity College Dublin to see the solar eclipse. Not quite the show they were hoping for as clouds block the view. Photograph: Dick Ahlstrom

Daylight levels return to normal after moon obscures sun up to 95% in skies over Ireland

Viewing an eclipse in London in 1999. Photograph: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

Solar eclipses of this magnitude are rare and cloud breaks should let most people see it

Children from the Eclipse Road area of London view the solar eclipse in 1999. Photograph:  Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

Dos and don’ts during the solar eclipse

An inside view of a Large Hadron Collider magnet. Photograph: Richard Juilliart/AFP/Getty images

After a two-year upgrade, the Large Hadron Collider is 60% more powerful. So what are scientists hoping for?

A solar eclipse in Varanasi, India, in July 2009. Ireland is set to experience up to a 95 per cent eclipse on Friday, though it is highly dangerous to look at the sun directly while observing the event. Photograph: Saurabh Das/AP

Up to 95% of sun will be blocked out by moon for about an hour from 8.30am

The signatories are advocating that less funding emphasis be placed on economically-driven research. Photograph: The Irish Times

More than 800 signatories express concerns about commercial focus in ‘Irish Times’ letter

Prof Katherine Fitzgerald is based at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where she is professor of medicine. Photograph: University of Massachusetts website

Prof Katherine Fitzgerald presented with award in Washington by Taoiseach

A project from Dr Lorraine Brennan of University College Dublin will look at the relationship between diet and health.  Photograph: Jason Clarke Photography

Awards come from EU’s Horizon 2020 research budget

The Royal Irish Academy was aware of a consultation process, but other stakeholders were not told. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Bodies including Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and Isme received no notice

Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly

Survey of fur colour via irishtimes.com finds black with white patches is most common. And there’s more

Geese: one type of bird most affected by turbines. Photograph: Johnny Greig

Swans, golden plovers, hen harriers and geese among species most affected by turbines

In a handout image, an artist’s rendering of what researchers believe Mars looked like around 4 billion years ago, when water now frozen in the planet’s icecaps formed a great northern ocean. NASA estimates that water could have covered about 19 percent of the red planet’s surface. Photograph: Greg Shirah/NASA via The New York Times

Research shows red planet was covered by water that evaporated over past billion years

“We are trying to figure out how cells die,” says Prof Séamus Martin, the Smurfit professor of medical genetics at Trinity College Dublin, recipient of the 2014 RDS Irish Times Boyle Medal for Scientific Excellence. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Exploration of vital process is core subject of talk by Prof Séamus Martin

The study at Trinity College Dublin included almost 5,000 adults and found a positive link between flouride in drinking water and oral health.

Older people in flouride areas are more likely to have all their own teeth

Researchers France led by Prof Karim Benchenane of France’s National Centre for Scientific Research conclude in a new paper that they have successfully implanted five mice with ‘artificial memories’. Photograph: Warner Bros

Scientists in France claim to have accomplished ‘Inception’-like brain manipulation

Data explosion: a research project at TCD aims to build in consistency and quality assurance for developers who want to access the information embedded within the data source

‘Aligned’ project designed to attack complexity, scale and inconsistency of web data stores

University College Cork (UCC). Researchers in UCC and NUI Galway have received about €2 million each in  funding from the European Research Council for their work in the life sciences. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

European Research Council awards Irish researchers for work in the life sciences

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan said she did not think “it is fair on the students if we continue to prevaricate” on the issue of Junior Cert reform. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister for Education does not ‘think it is fair on students if we continue to prevaricate’

Prof Seeram Ramakrishna: ‘The view [in Singapore] is you have to look at the long term. You have to invest more to prepare for the future.’

Ireland risks missing out if it fails to invest in research at a high level, says a globally influential scientist

Cutting edge: Kapil Katyal, a robotics engineer, with a Darpa-sponsored robotic hand and arm; the prosthesis mimics the movement of the sensor glove he is wearing. Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty

The return from Iraq and Afghanistan of US soldiers with missing limbs has driven much of the innovation in bionic prostheses

Séamus Martin at the Smurfit Institute of Genetics in Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘The world of cells is as amazing for its complexity and beauty as it is for the pragmatic way it deals with problems,’ says Séamu(...)

A computer programme that learns from its mistakes can teach itself how to play classic computer games such as Space Invaders, performing better than skilled human competitors at many of them.

‘Artificial agent’ learns from its mistakes to master Breakout, Pong and Boxing

The study showed that yeast used to brew the perfect lager can also be pressed into service to produce excellent stout. Photograph: The Irish Times

DNA analysis of substance used to brew stout shows origins are rooted in India

Five pointers can help you  find a middle ground where food and dietary choices aren’t driven by all the marketing and advertising. Photograph: Getty Images

The news you should feed peanuts to children at risk of developing peanut allergy runs counter to previous advice

Tuskar Lighthouse: many of the technology and engineering challenges of wave, tidal and offshore wind are likely to have been overcome, and we will have offshore “farms” where energy is harvested from the seas around us

The mix in 2050 will include gas-powered turbines and offshore wind-and-wave farms

The best way to prevent peanut allergy in young children is to feed them peanut products, according to a study published on Monday by researchers from King’s College London. Photograph: Getty Images.

Nut allergy falls by 81 per cent in children who consumed peanut protein

Cruising: won many Grand Prix show-jumping competitions

Procedure’s relative ease raises some ethical questions

BioCore’s Ellough site near Suffolk, England: “It is a major site,” managing director Peter Carey says, “and National Grid, the utility we are with, describes it as a significant site in terms of gas import.”

Plants decompose to release gas with the remains serving as a useful fertiliser

Looming danger?: a nuclear reactor dome rises over an English beach. Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

We’re afraid of fracking, we don’t like wind turbines and we don’t have enough oil. Any chance we might cut down on energy usage? (...)

 Donegal Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has had his drink-driving case adjourned until March. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil’s Brian Ó Domhnaill also accused of failing to report a hit-and-run occurrence

Scientists in Britain have discovered the strongest biological material known to man, a limpet tooth. Photograph: Thinkstock.

Natural substance found in shelled creatures could be imitated for use in cars, boats and planes

Prof Luke O’Neill with flasks of inflamed white blood cells from the immune system in a laboratory in Trinity. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Tests reveal remedy could also halt diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and alzheimer’s

‘We have found they hedgehogs are virtually absent from higher ground.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

Help us answer this and other prickly questions. Or, if cats are more your thing, you can take part in a national survey of our fe(...)

“It’s tough when it comes to dating profiles because we want someone who seems like an amazing person, but we also hopefully will have a relationship with this individual, so we want them to exist.”

Profiles that appear ‘too perfect’ are a turn off for prospective lovers, US study shows

Engineers Week file photograph of Sue McGrath  demonstrating combustion properties using flour. A survey released as part of this year’s events shows   that despite national efforts 70 per cent of parents don’t know what Stem stands for. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Engineers Week poll shows that despite efforts most don’t know what Stem stands for

File image of a March 2008 launch from the European Space Agency’s Kourou facility in French Guiana. Photograph: Stephane Corvaja/ESA via Getty Images

Intermediate Experimental Vehicle expected to splash down in Pacific after 1hr 40m

‘There is no doubt that consuming a diet rich in saturated fats can leave you at greater risk of cardiovascular disease.’ Photograph:  Jimmy Pozarik/Getty

Advice was given to millions of adults without sufficient scientific evidence

Prof Valeria Nicolosi: uses a form of 3D printing to make electronic components and advanced batteries.

Two receive €150,000 grants to help bring discoveries to market

Illustration: Thinkstock

Regular exercise causes profound changes in the body and mind. But what exactly is going on in there?

The crooked teeth and lower jaw of an Early Neolithic farmer Photograph: Olivia Cheronet

Dietary changes meant humans’ jaws became smaller but teeth stayed the same size

Bringing more women into the Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects is a constant struggle

UCD report states that ‘the key issue appears to be motivation’

Brendan Farrell, chief executive of HiberGene Diagnostics: “The test uses an enabling technology called loop mediated isothermal amplification (Lamp).”

HiberGene secures funding which will enable it to bring its product to market

Dr Ruth Freeman, the Science Foundation’s director of strategy and communications: she says the goal is to encourage interest and debate about science, technology, engineering and maths. Photograph: Arthur Allison.

Minister says Discovery programme focuses on wide range of career opportunities with Stem subject

The Internet of Things is attempting to join together your television, car, computer and just about anything else that can generate or use data. Illustration: Thinkstock

Exploiting today’s information mountain is not all about online commerce: one of Europe’s largest analytics centres is advancing t(...)

An artist’s impression of the five rocky planets close to earth-sized orbiting the star Kepler-444. Illustration by Tiago Campante/Peter Devine

Researchers made find when sifting through four years of data

In the case of the new finding, by the University of Glasgow and Heriot-Watt University, once slowed the photons stay slowed, they don’t speed up again. Details are published in Science Express.

Scientists from two Scottish universities slow down light as it moves through free space

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the subject of the Rosetta satellite mission. Research papers based on the mission’s findings thus far have been published. Photograph: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS

Research based on Comet 67P mission published in Science journal

N49, the brightest supernova remnant in optical light in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Photograph: Universal History Archive/UIG

First time super bubble linked to such high energy and seen in neighbouring galaxy

NUI Galway professor of psychology  Gary Donohoe said the study in terms of numbers was enormous but had to be so in order to succeed.

Three Irish groups participated in major international study

Cats aren’t just a meme thing: your one occasion to talk to us about your cat’s fur without raising eyebrows

The Science pages launch a national survey to learn more about cat genetics

From left, at the stables of thoroughbred  ‘Annagh Haven’ in Oristown, Co Meath is Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Damien English, Prof Fergal O’Brien, deputy director of Amber and head of the tissue engineering research group in RCSI, and Laurence Mulvany, owner of the filly ‘Annagh Haven’ (pictured).

Rebuilding of thoroughbred’s jaw allowed it to return to the track

Prof Rocco Lupoi (centre) examines a product sample of his 3D printer and special spray device made at TCD with assistant professors (left) Shaun McFadden and Anthony Robinson. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

European Space Agency finances groundbreaking research into reducing cost of “printing” metals

ESB worker Shane McGowan works on a telegraph pole in Drumcliffe, Co Sligo on Thursday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Moves afoot across Europe to adopt convention to avoid mixing weather systems up

Minister for Research and Innovation Damien English: “Absolutely convinced” that investment in research was important for Ireland. Photograph: The Irish Times

Experts help build reputation and support jobs agenda, says science foundation chief

Lack of exercise leaves a person at greater risk of early death than does being obese, according to a study published this evening

Get up and get out is the clear message from research

The Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) is located at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. Photograph: ESO/R. Wesson

Queen’s involved in fresh search for exoplanets using more sensitive telescopes

Minister of State  Damien English, who said the funding would help to “boost Ireland’s biomedical research credentials”. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Group has put some €1m a year into research here over the past four years

“As we wait for an increase in State spending, we can take comfort from the fact that many of these top 100 companies have a presence in Ireland”

The annual list of the world’s top innovators shows the value of spending on R&D

Prof Mike Hinchey, director of Lero: “People say we are spending all of this money on space research but it is being reapplied in other areas.” Photograph: Sean Curtin

The Irish software research centre has won another valuable contract with the European Space Agency

 Ian O’Sullivan and Eimear Murphy from Coláiste Treasa, Cork, overall winners of the 51st BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition for their project Alcohol Consumption: Does the Apple Fall Far from the Tree? Here they are celebrating their win  with their parents Eileen and Donal O’Sullivan and Kathleen and John Murphy. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Projects on boxer injuries, musical inspiration from birdsong and smartphones also win

RoseAnne O’Mahony, from Christ King Girls Secondary School, Cork, with her project on global warming and changes in  grass growth patterns, at the Young Scientist exhibition. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Dedicated student spends four years watching the grass grow

Chloe O’Neill (16) from John the Baptist Community School in Limerick with her exhibit, does running to the beat speed up your feet, at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition at the RDS, Dublin. Photogaph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tension mounts among impressive competitors as BT exhibition reaches climax

The €15 silver-proof coin will go on sale on January 14th in a limited edition of 6,000

Central Bank’s €15 coin commemorating Ernest Walton is Young Scientist prize

Students from Ennistymon Vocational School, Co Clare,  get a chance to present the weather forecast in the RTÉ television studio at the Young Scientist exhibition. Photograph: Brian McEvoy

RDS event encourages younger students to take an interest in science

Haroon Hussain, Mateen Malik and Andrew O’Neill from Synge Street CBS with their project on a new partition function. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Impressive maths projects include development of new geometry and number theorems

Ciara Finan and Emma O’Reilly from Loreto College in Cavan with their project on game theory. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Transition year pupils studied mathematical theory to ensure they always come up trumps

James Finnerty, Thomas Cullen and Shane Maher from CBS Roscommon with their project How fresh is “fresh” milk? Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Keep milk cold and buy from a local producer if you want to keep it fresher for longer

Brainy: Micheal Ní Coill, Andrew Eley and David McDermott from Coláiste Phádraig, Lucan, with their project, Concussion Screening, at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2015. Photograph: Alan Betson

Growing food in space for astronauts, filtering pathogens from water – and much more

Claire Nichols from Sutton Park School with her project, Correlation or Coincidence?, at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Solar flares might have helped turn a trading negative into a positive

Emma McCabe, Zoe Maguire and Edel Campbell from St Oliver Post Primary, Meath with their project – Sheep Watch. Photograph: Alan Betson

Sheep Watch warns of danger and drives dogs away

The Hustle dance group, dressed for the occasion in long white lab coats, performing at the opening ceremony of the BT Young Scientist Exhibition at the RDS on Wednesday. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Enda Kenny joined on stage by hiphop dancers and trapeze artists at launch party

Students Eimear Delaney, Emily Ward and Aimee Finegan  have found that soft music without lyrics aids primary school learning. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Transition year pupils find classes after lunch or PE work against learning

Emily Duffy, from Desmond College in Limerick, with  her Homeless sleeping bag. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Limerick student builds bag using bubblewrap, velcro and waterproof metallic tape

Dr Tony Scott’s grandson Harry (5), dressed up as an astronaut to launch the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition at the RDS, which is runs until Saturday. Photograph: Shane O’Neill/Fennells

RDS exhibition expected to be attended by 50,000 visitors

Caoilfhionn Ní Dheoráin (left) aged 14 from Coláiste Chilliain, Nangor Road, Clondalkin, and Martha Nic Ionais also 14, from Coláiste Chilliain at work on their projecty. Photograph: Shane O’Neill/Fennells

New technology enables pupils absorb difficult concepts on curriculum more quickly

Paul Clarke from St Pauls College, Dublin, who emerged overall winner of the BT Young Scientist & Technologist 2014 Award with his project, Contributions to Cyclic Graph Theory. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Exacting standards and tough judging sharpen students for global competition

A new commemorative stamp recognises the contribution of the 51st BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, which opens in the RDS on Wednesday. Photograph: Shane O’Neill / Fennells

An Post issues commemorative stamp for 51st annual science and tech event

Professor Lokesh Joshi of NUI Galway

European Defence Agency is funding research at Aquila Bioscience, a company based at NUI Galway

From left: Ruby Savage, Kyle Read and Joseph Marley of St John the Baptist National School, Midleton, Co Cork, work on their RDS Primary Science Fair project. Photograph: Clare Keogh

Water a major research theme at this year’s Primary Science Fair

Professor Paul Moynagh in the lab. Prof Moynagh led the Maynooth University team investigating how to block an inflammation which leads to Type 2 diabetes in people who are overweight. Photograph: Astur Photography

University researchers discover means to block inflammation that leads to Type 2

Wren boys in Dublin. Photograph: Frank Miller

People gathering to watch the astronomical alignments at Newgrange; star-gazing; the wren boys; decorating homes with holly and iv(...)

Waves crash against a sea wall  beneath the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, on  December 16th, 2014. The state of California’s water deficit now stands at some 42 cubic km - the volume of water that would be needed to replenish the state’s depleted rivers and recharge underground aquifers. Photograph: Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Just 5cm of rain on Ireland would dump 4.2 cubic km of water - a tenth of what California needs

People have been invited to submit possible names for five impact craters on Mercury - the planet in our solar system that lies closest to the sun

Name has to be that of a famous writer, artist or composer – not your own

Beavers are consummate dam builders, blocking rivers to create ponds and surrounding wetlands. Leaves, branches and other carbon-rich material builds up on the floor of the ponds, rotting to release methane, a greenhouse gas much more powerful than carbon dioxide. Photograph: Thinkstock/Getty

Ponds formed when rodents build dams release large quantities of greenhouse gas

The new innovation fund supported by Science Foundation Ireland and Pfizer will initially support the work of five Irish scientists in four universites. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Science Foundation Ireland and Pfizer will support work of scientists from four universities

Penguins: not that’s what science call cute

Dancing frogs, robotic penguins, monkey hairdos and, erm, a dog peeing

In its hands: It is outrageous that the Government has yet to deliver a policy document for science

We need a policy for research of all kinds, not just the type than makes money

Much of the €12.5m will flow into scientific research in area such as tissue engineering, evolutionary biology and solar energy

Dr Eilionóir Flynn’s Voices project aims to empower those with intellectual disabilities

 Two Pterosaurs  with a prey, Triassic-Cretaceous.  Photograph:  DeAgostini/Getty Images

Avian Phylogenomics Project tracks the ‘big bang’ of bird evolution

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