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

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