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.

When it works well, our immune system keeps us alive and healthy. We need that complex system of cells and molecules to prevent life-threatening in(...)

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

Got a few euro to spare? Through crowdfunding websites, some researchers and start-ups are asking the public to pitch in directly. And while crowdf(...)

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

When most of us stand up to give a speech, we fear that we might freeze on the spot, stuck for a word. For Mags Mullarney, who has Parkinson’s dise(...)

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

What happens when 100 or so teenage girls gather for a day, learn coding skills and “hack” new websites? Add a bit of music, food, prizes and some hel(...)

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

Imagine being placed on a spaceship and blasted into outer space, only to arrive on a planet not built for you. That’s the scenario painted last mo(...)

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

For almost three decades, Mary Nally has been tapping into a powerful yet often underused resource around Ireland. She has harnessed it to set up a(...)

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

It’s a chilly evening and I’m at Dublin City University, trying to find where I should be. I follow the sound of laughing and good-natured shouting(...)

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

Last year, it felt as if everyone and their granny got doused with buckets of ice-cold water. Video clips of the pre-bucket cringes and post-bucket(...)

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

It might appear that plants just sit there, but don’t be fooled by that calm exterior. Plants can’t simply up sticks and move when the going gets t(...)

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

If you suffer a serious injury or sudden illness – the kind that prompts an emergency phone call – then every minute counts, and getting appropriate m(...)