Nephrops prawn: more than 80 per cent of them collected in the Clyde firth in Scotland and surrounding sea lochs had eaten plastic, including monofilament line and fragments of plastic bags. Illustration: Michael Viney Nephrops prawn: more than 80 per cent of them collected in the Clyde firth in Scotland and surrounding sea lochs had eaten plastic, including monofilament line and fragments of plastic bags. Illustration: Michael Viney

It’s a good 15 years since I first took note of nurdles – a nonsense name for an insidious substance. Feather-light, translucent beads of polypropylen(...)

A dolphin and her  newborn calf: a report has found that ottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins and killer whales or orcas are under enormous threat from persistent pollutants.  Photograph: Isabel Baker/Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation

Man-made pollution is affecting the ability of marine mammals such as killer whales and dolphins to breed and may lead to the extinction of some speci(...)

Some students entered courses with misplaced conceptions about the content and found the course either too difficult or that they had little interest in the subject matter. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien.

One in six students in higher education is not progressing past the first year of the course, new figures show.This adds up to some 6,500 students a (...)

Starry starry night: Dark Sky Ireland finds  more value in an unpolluted night than in filling B&Bs with star-struck winter hobbyists. Illustration: Michael Viney

A couple of winters after moving to Mayo I reported Venus to the Garda Síochána. There she was, on a starry February night, lying right on the sea’s h(...)

 Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Plans to merge institutes of technology into new technological universities are likely to cost well more than €45 million, new figures show. The mov(...)

The chimneys were formed as a side effect of chemosynthetic microorganisms over thousands of years of activity.

Deep-sea organisms living without sunlight and feeding off toxic “mud volcanoes” have been discovered by a team of Irish and international scientis(...)

The skills of a plumber, electrician, crane driver and paramedic are far more useful than ‘genius’ when it comes to exploring in space, says Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli .

The skills of a plumber, electrician, crane driver and paramedic are far more useful than “genius” when it comes to exploring in space. “Oh, and a s(...)

Michael Thai Trung King, who is to be conferred with a PhD from the RCSI. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

They arrived, wrapped in Aer Lingus blankets, to a cold and blustery Dublin Airport in the winter of 1981. To many, they were simply the “Boat People”(...)

Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Plans to merge three institutes of technology in Connacht and Ulster to form a technological university have cleared their first hurdle. Minister for (...)

Emmanuelle Lydon  (right) is pictured leaving the container. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy/The Irish Times

When artists Yvonne Casburn and Derval Leahy released eight people from voluntary 24-hour incarceration in a shipping container in Galway city centre (...)