The most severe scenario is where high levels of contamination reach us that demand imposition of food controls and agriculture protective actions extending over 60 years. Photograph: Getty Images

Expert model shows best-case consequence of minor episode implies €4bn cost to State

“Is that Santa?”: A Perseid  in the sky above the ESO’s Very Large Telescope in  Paranal in Chile. Photograph: S Guisard/ESO/PA Wire

Joining the ESO would have long-term benefits for astronomers and astrophysicists

Anti-fracking protesters outside the Dáil. Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten said that   decisions on fracking “should be made on the basis of peer-reviewed science”. Photograph: Leah Farrell/

The impact of fracking can be controlled and regulated, according to the EPA’s report

People from Leitrim on a protest at the Dáil against fracking in their area. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Decision on controversial process welcomed by green lobby comes on back of EPA report

Prof Mark Ferguson: joins a group that will review the progress and impact of Horizon 2020.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Group will map out the future of EU research, development and innovation

An aedes aegypti mosquito: “These expansions are putting at risk large human populations that never experienced aegypti-borne viruses and therefore have no immune defences against them.”   Photograph: Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters

Mosquito now cross-breeding and is hatching for 12 months of the year

‘Lepisiota canescens’ ants killing a termite. Photograph: Daniela Magdalena Sorger

Newly discovered species forms ‘supercolonies’ that can spread beyond 30km wide

Research found that only certain foods triggers this snoozing response, with protein-rich foods and salty foods both encouraging a “food coma”, but not sweet foods. Photograph: Getty Images

Fruit flies help scientists to understand why too much food makes us sleepy

Turkey eggshells and bones from a ritual 1,500 years ago in Mexico. Photograph: Linda Nicholas/Field Museum

Newly unearthed evidence shows Thanksgiving dish was on menu 1,500 years ago

About 350,000 tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste have been loaded so far this year into the seven landfill sites that have reached their annual licensed capacity.

Landfills in Wicklow and Meath permitted to take more waste than EPA licence limits

Prof Don Barry:  Bernal Institute at UL is academia, government and industry all working together to create a “gamechanger”. Photograph: Sean Curtin Press 22

Investment of €86 million attracts leading scientists into UL’s Bernal Institute

The scientists found families of immune cells develop during an immune response, producing waves of fighters programmed to  die at different times after an infection starts.

Scientists at Maynooth help develop means of tracking work of immune system’s T-cells

Many runners have chosen to go minimal when running, but the great majority of runners remain attached to their expensive footwear.

Running in minimal shoes and landing on balls of feet may cut injury risk, research says

Prof John Sweeney: “Ireland’s position is beginning to be well known in the wider world as a delinquent country when it comes to walking the walk rather than talking the talk about climate change”

Climate expert Prof John Sweeney says failure to move on emission cuts could cause reputational damage

vcvcc The Rising Sons Brewery turned to science when naming its “Dark Matter” Porter (above), with the mystery about dark matter and dark energy under constant scrutiny by scientists.

Biochemistry drives the brewing process and affects the ultimate flavour of the beer

A volunteer using the “soft” robot device that can help help stroke patients to walk again

‘Soft’ design means device helps independent walking and retrains muscles and joints

The mathematicians are developing a detailed theory of coffee brewing aimed at producing the ultimate morning brew.

Larger grains can make weak coffee while smaller grains can make it bitter

Dimples are on a golf ball because a struck ball spins, and the spinning ball goes twice as far as a smooth ball

Science and technology are at the heart of designing golf clubs and balls

Winner of the Research Image of the Year: “Organic ChemisTree, a Telescopic View”, by Andrea Zanetti, a chemistry PhD student at UCD. The tree is made of copper salts crystallising out of a green chemical mixture. The blue sky was provided by a laboratory glove.

Science Foundation Ireland’s award scheme expands to include best early career scientist

Severe storms are now more commonplace,  World Meteorological Organization secretary-general Petteri Taalas has said. “Because of climate change, the occurrence and impact of extreme events has risen.” Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

World Meteorological Organization releases provisional ‘status of global climate’ statement

The treatment has been shown to work in mice and is ready for human trials. File photograph: Getty Images

UCC researchers show how treatment prevents deterioration in the sight of mice

Mycobacterium abscessus has managed to become a global threat to those with cystic fibrosis  and other lung diseases. File photograph: Getty Images

Mycobacterium abscessus is drug resistant and resists conventional cleaning methods

The actual apple tree under which Sir Isaac Newton sat when a falling apple inspired him to develop an explanation for gravity. Photograph: Ann Moynihan

Seeds from 400-year-old tree to be distributed to 30 science centres, including Belfast

Donald Trump: As president, what would he make of research into embryonic stem cells that causes the death of embryos? Photograph: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

Trump is likely to back science research based on business payback

Scientists in Cork have discovered a drug that increases appetite, in a development they believe may point the way to a drug that can trigger weight loss. File photograph: Getty Images

UCC scientists believe discovery also has the potential for treatments to tackle obesity

Small particulate pollution coming from diesel engines, particularly trucks and buses can build up in cities and towns to cause health issues for those breathing them in. Photograph: Frank Miller

Report highlights hidden costs of failing to maintain quality environment in Ireland

Prof FitzGerald said: “It is an issue that is massive for the world and we must play our part.”

Economist Prof John FitzGerald says both Irish Government and EU are responsible

Magnets have always been a part of wireless communications but the current generation has peaked when it comes to the frequency of a radio signal

Trinity College Dublin team will lead €4.4m project that aims to speed-up data links a thousandfold

The Arctic is heating up faster than anywhere else and the results are plain to see: the ice is melting. Photograph: Cory Glencross/iStock/Getty

The Earth’s atmosphere now carries over 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide

Lough Derg: “The big thing for Ireland is rainfall and storms, with rainfall either too much or too little,” says Dr Conor Murphy of Maynooth University

Data is pointing to a much stormier future, plus extreme rainfall events

 Danny Healy Rae (right), with his brother and fellow TD Michael Healy Rae. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

It is not clear whether he developed the theory himself or took it from another source

A girl getting vaccinated against HPV. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Use of the vaccine ‘could eliminate nearly 90 cervical cancer deaths a year and the need for 280 women a year to undergo treatment(...)

Protesters at the COP21 World Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015. The conference was aimed at reaching an international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions and curtail climate change. Photograph: José Rodriguez/EPA

Atmosphere has highest carbon dioxide levels in 3.5 million years, 400 parts per million

Ireland is grossly underinvesting in cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, according to a report from the UN’s Environment Programme. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw.

UN report says 20% of transport budget should be spent in area but just 1% will be in 2016

Prof Richard Reilly, director of the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering at  Trinity College, Dublin and Prof Richard Costello,  consultant physician in respiratory medicine at Beaumont Hospital, who have developed the Inca (Inhaler Compliance Assessment) device for people with respiratory disorders.

Two old friends have created an inhaler attachment for people with asthma

A capuchin monkey breaks its hammerstone as it strikes an embedded cobble in the Serra da Capivara National Park, Brazil. The monkeys preferred to lick off the stone dust and then throw the flakes away. Photograph: T Falótico

Capuchin monkeys make sharp stone flakes similar to those made by ancient humans

Minister John Halligan with  Julie Byrne of Nokia Bell Labs in Ireland and Lorraine Byrne of Amber, the materials science institute at Trinity College Dublin

Trinity and Nokia Bell Labs are developing components for next generation electronics

Science Foundation of Ireland funding awardees Gerard O’Keeffe, of University College Cork; Roger Preston, of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland  and Nuala Mai Caffery, of Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Jason Clarke

Forty projects share windfall with awards ranging from €450,000 to €870,000

Shafi Goldwasser: “My lecture will be on the tension between utility of big data and the risks it presents to our privacy, fairness and in general the right to be left alone.”

MIT professor to explore risks and benefits of ‘big data’ in Hamilton Lecture in Dublin

Image released by Nasa today  was  taken by  Hubble space telescope covering a portion of the southern field of the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey. Among other data, scientists used the galaxies visible in the survey  to recalculate the total number of galaxies in the observable universe. Photograph: Nasa/EPA

Astronomers make estimate of 2 trillion - but many galaxies are still lurking in the dark

The system “can successfully answer synthetic questions designed to emulate reasoning and inference problems in natural language”, say scientists. File photograph: Getty Images

System analyses data by blending neural network and standard computer memory

Science Foundation Ireland receive 3.5% increase to €162.5 million

Irish researchers have won 75 awards, worth €97million, since 2007 across the full range of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and the sciences.

Prof Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, president of the council which gives grants, visiting Dublin

Bread: Gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye, can cause serious problems if eaten by those with coeliac disease. Photograph: Frank Miller

Research also shows that internet-based self-diagnosis of conditions is ‘rife’

Gardasil, a vaccine against cervical cancer. Photograph: AFP/ Getty Images

Uptake in vaccine to prevent cervical cancer low ‘due to huge impact of lobby groups’

Prof Mark Ferguson, director of the Science Foundation of Ireland,  hopes to impress the European Research Council’s president Jean-Pierre Bourguignon when he visits Dublin next week. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Irish researchers won 0.99% of EU awards with application rate of 1.39% since 2007

The most long-lived Irish person was Kathleen Snavely (above) from Co Clare,  who died in the US aged 113 years in 2015.  Photograph: Syracuse University Archives

Record maximum age of 122 is extremely unlikely to be surpassed, researchers say

Professor of chemistry at Northwestern University in the US J Fraser Stoddart is one of three winners of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

Recipient Prof J Fraser Stoddart previously honoured for work by Trinity College Dublin

UCD announced on Tuesday that Prof Fengzhou Fang would join its school of mechanical and materials engineering to develop the micro/nano manufacturing technologies. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Leading researcher in nanomanufacturing will help build engineering base in Ireland

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics John Michael Kosterlitz for revealing the secrets of exotic matter, the Nobel jury said. Photograph: Lehtikuva/Roni Rekomaa/AFP/Getty Images

Physics award shared by three US-based scientists David Thouless, Duncan Haldane, and Michael Kosterlitz

‘There are also many cyclists who win no sympathy from motorists, truck and bus drivers because of the way they rampage through Dublin’s streets. No light is red enough, no gap between cars or worse between the sides of two double-deckers is narrow enough and no pedestrian crossing is off limits enough to prevent cyclists from charging through.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Our roads need to be made safer for cyclists – but cyclists also need to follow rules of the road

The Rosetta satellite and Philae lander

On September 30th, the Rosetta satellite will reach the end of its 12-year mission and join the Philae lander on an icy grave

Nobel prize-winner Paul Nurse believes there are better ways to advance the State’s ambitions to become a world centre for innovat(...)

Breastfeeding is the perfect food for newborns, says Dr Amy Brown. Photograph: Katie Collins/PA Wire

Just 55% of mothers in Ireland have breastfed, the lowest rate in the world

Big study: the gait of an elephant has been studied to see whether its mood can be predicted by the way it walks

Tracking device provides ‘daily diary’ for an unprecedented view into creatures’ lives

British Science Festival hears how easy it is to retrieve important personal information

Many ethical questions arise as a result of genome research. Yet it offers much promise in treating disease, delivering safe genetically modified food and even defeating HIV. File photograph: Getty Images

British Science Festival told technology’s power has big implications for eugenics

A new kind of cancer test has been developed that can detect the disease long before any symptoms occur. It is based on a simple blood test and researchers hope it might be able to spot a range of different cancers. Image: iStock/Getty.

British Science Festival: Test seeks out by-products of disease before symptoms occur

Striking imagery: benzene tricarboxamides by Chris Hawes and Amy Lynes. Photograph: Edward Ward, Pal Group, Durham University

Research done at Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute could have ‘huge impact

Researchers have shown that dogs  understand spoken words and  gain information from the intonation used. File photograph: Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP/Getty Images

Man’s best friend processes vocal communication in same way as humans, study shows

 Project Maths is meant to serve enterprise policy by increasing the maths competence of graduates.

Mismatches between education and enterprise policies are becoming clearer

A Greenland shark returning to the deep cold waters of the Uummannaq Fjord in northwestern Greenland. Photograph: Julius Nielsen

New study proves the fish are the longest-living vertebrates on planet Earth

Rocks used as throwing weapons must be heavy enough to do damage but light enough for a high speed throw. Photograph: Andrew Wilson et al

New study sheds light on abundance of round hunting rocks found at stone age settlements

 Understanding: computers that  recognise  emotions could  help people with dementia. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Irish-led SenseCare research, funded by the EU, will make use of ‘affective computing’

Scientists from Trinity College Dublin are to play a central role in the research for a new whooping cough vaccine. Photograph: iStock

TCD scientists join the effort to combat the increasing number of cases of the disease

Orreco chief operating officer Fiona Slevin  and chief executive Brian Moore.

Biomarker analytics firm wants to extend elite athlete solutions to everyone

Sothic Bioscience co-founder Piotr	Jakubowicz. Photograph: Conor McCabe.

Firm developed ‘biosynthetic’ equivalent of product derived from crab blood

Megazyme  technical director Vincent	McKie, director Oisín Gilbride and research director David Mangan. Photograph: Conor McCabe

Bray-based firm produces analytics kits used in food, drinks and biofuel sectors

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor visiting the laboratory of  Jazz Pharmaceuticals – she is one of two ministers with innovation in the job title. Photograph: Shane O’Neill

There are two ministers with ‘innovation’ in their title, but who defends research budgets?

There is a wide mix of projects being supported, covering a number of research areas being given priority by the Government. Photograph: Getty Images

Science Foundation Ireland and other bodies offer support for 24 projects and 200 researchers

EU member states are now required to wipe invasive species out or at least try to keep them contained.  Among them are animals such as the raccoon, the grey squirrel and North American bullfrog (above).

Member states, including Ireland, required to wipe them out or keep them contained

A survey showed 15 per cent of 20- to 24-year-olds born in the 1990s reported having no sexual partners since turning 18. File photograph: Getty Images

Online technology can facilitate forming of relationships - but also have opposite effect

St Paul Island, Alaska  supported a large group of the animals for thousands of years after they went extinct in Asia and North America. File image: PA Wire

Researchers say climate change and rising sea levels was the cause of the animals’ demise

Researchers have been copying avian aerial techniques to teach intelligent drones how to cover long distances without needing a lot of energy.

Researchers study avian flying techniques to learn how to minimise energy consumption

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin during the Apollo 11 trip to the moon in 1969. Astronauts on the Apollo missions to the moon have been found to have much higher rates of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study. File photograph: Nasa via Reuters

New research claims radiation from deep space can cause cardiovascular problems

Still life with oysters (circa 1610) by Flemish painter Osias Beert.

Study of 750 food paintings from the past five centuries

Solar Impulse 2 pilot André Borschberg; Frank Duggan, of ABB; Conor Lennon, global manager for special projects, ABB; Eoin Caldwell, service engineer, ABB Ireland; and pilot Bertrand Piccard at Al Bateen Executive Airport, Abu Dhabi.

Significant Irish contingent involved in first solar-powered round-the-world flight

The tallest men on the planet come from the Netherlands, while the tallest women are from Latvia, according to a new study. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Irish people fail to make the top 10 for height in massive international study

Nuisance: creeping in your closets, the clothes moth gobbles up any natural fibre from wool to silk, cotton and linen, cashmere fur and even feathers and hair. Photograph: Getty

Warm, humid conditions are ideal for dreaded moth that eats cashmere and carpet alike

The Irish Research Council has helped fund the pursuit of new ways to tackle HIV. Photograph: Getty Images

Report reveals breadth of scientific endeavour – from HIV treatment to Irish gene study

Despite the claims from the Leave camp about the outflow of sterling into the EU’s coffers, Britain was a net beneficiary from EU research programmes

Royal Irish Academy one of seven to issue a joint statement to the UK government

A Google data centre

The world’s data pool is growing at an astonishing rate, and a team based at Trinity has made a discovery about how to store it mo(...)

 Mark Ferguson, director general of Science Foundation Ireland, said Irish science was delivering after the State  ranked second in the world for chemistry, nanotechnology and for immunology research last year. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

Science Foundation Ireland believes Brexit could be an opportunity for sector in State

An image of a graphene sheet which shows three separate graphene ribbons formed by self-assembly. Image: James Annett

Amber materials science centre team find wonder material good for high-tech uses

A honey bee on an apple blossom. Irish people are being asked to do their bit to support bees here by making their gardens ‘bee friendly’ as a third of our 98 bee species threatened with extinction. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Pollinators essential for growth of human food crops but one third of Irish bees at risk

Ethan Hawke in Gattaca, where a two-tier society emerges in the future comprised of those who can afford to be genetically modified and those who can’t.

It should be possible to improve our immunity against viruses and cancer

 No matter how much scientific evidence is provided many people still hold doubts about whether man-made climate change is real. Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

‘Third of people in US deny man-made climate change’

Artist’s impression of the Juno satellite on its way to Jupiter

The Juno satellite is en route to the mysterious planet, and it could help to reveal how the solar system was formed

Mind mining may be a career of the future, something that would be based on the use of big data computer analysis and artificial intelligence. Photograph: Getty Images

Want to be a mind miner? Why not a a CSI gut expert? Unveiling those jobs to come

Traces of emerald ash borer on a dead tree. Photograph: iStock

A range of factors are pushing plants to the edge, and many species may be on borrowed time

Determination to become a world leader in scientific research and innovation may be in jeopardy

Prof Michael Zaworotko leads the University of Limerick  research group that developed the sponge. Photograph: Sean Curtin Photo.

Discovery can soak up impurities, desalinate water and mop up carbon dioxide

An artist’s drawing of a  species of hobbit-sized humans, Homo floresiensis. File photograph: Peter Schouten-National Geographic Society/Reuters

Indonesian discovery matches up with the Homo floresiensis remnants found in 2003

Fish can tell one human face from another despite lacking a part of the brain that mammals and birds use for this task, according to new research. Photograph: Caitlin Newport/AFP/Getty Images

Archerfish are able to identify faces they have seen before, according to new study

Beyoncé received a reported €45 million from Pepsi to promote its product. Photograph: Getty Images

Most food and drink products marketed by music stars unhealthy, research shows

Arthur Ward stands with his Pyrenean mountain dog Cody  in Birmingham, England. A 4,800-year-old dog bone dug out of the Newgrange monument in Co Meath has helped to explain how the canine came to be man’s best friend.  Photograph: Darren Staples/Reuters

The 4,800-year-old bone from Newgrange monument forms part of new research

A Petri dish in a laboratory at NUI Galway holds something quite special - hundreds of individual human heart cells all beating in synchrony. File photograph: Science Photo Library/PPX

Skin cells turn into heart cells to help treat conditions that cause heart to beat too fast

Comets can be 50% water and asteroids range from 2% to 20%. Research shows, however, that four-fifths of the moon’s water was delivered by asteroids. Illustration: Lunar and Planetary Institute/David A Kring

Source of water and date of arrival baffles experts down the decades. That is, until now

A lab in Cúram the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices based at NUI Galway.  Photograph: Andrew Downes, Xposure

Cúram’s medical devices programme will see 31 postdoctoral fellowships granted over four years

A computer generated images of the spacecraft on its approach to Jupiter.

Voyage extending to five years almost at an end in quest to unlock secrets of giant world

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