The spotted lanternfish. The fish inhabits the deep Atlantic Ocean and is succumbing to microplastic pollution.

Irish-based researchers confirm plastic pollution is reaching deep into Atlantic Ocean

A 10 per cent rise in the proportion of ultra-processed foods in diet is associated with increases of 12 per cent in the risk of overall cancer and 11 per cent in the risk of breast cancer.

Study raises concerns over consumption of ready meals and fizzy drinks, says ‘BMJ’

’Mucky Jack’ is released back into the wilds of Co Wicklow, part of a study that shows some male badgers are ‘”super-rangers” and may help spread  bovine tuberculosis.

Some males may roam up to three times further than previously understood, scientists find

A Coastwatch volunteer collected this waste in one outing on a small stretch of coastline between Garrarus beach and Kilfarrasy Beach on the Co Waterford coastline. The haul includes a fridge and many plastic bottles.

Coastwatch voluteers finds 18 bottles for every 500 metres of shoreline

Speaking at the launch of voluntary codes for the advertising of certain food products, Minister of State for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne said the food industry needed to ‘cop-on’. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Code agreed in response to obesity ‘doomed to failure’, says Irish Heart Foundation

Investments into new onshore and offshore wind projects fell to €22.3 billion across the EU, down 19 per cent from a record €27.5 billion in 2016.

State ‘is the member state with the highest level of installed wind capacity relative to its power consumption’

Irish Water managing director Jerry Grant: ‘[The project] is vital for future social and economic development in Dublin’

Upgrade is first part of €400 million overhaul in Ireland’s largest treatment facility

While SFI was pursuing important research,  Mr Lawless said the broader research ecosystem was suffering from lack of support. Photograph: iStock

Fianna Fáil proposes reforms to research organisation

Flooding around Parteen Weir in Co Clare.  The Shannon-Dublin water pipeline will cost more than €1.2bn and its footprint will be immense.  Photograph: TISC

A campaigning lawyer says the case for the Shannon-Dublin water pipeline is full of holes

 Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Denis Naughten: “All of us have a responsibility to act on climate change, and improving our home’s energy performance is a significant step in decreasing our collective carbon footprint.” Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

SEAI believes 1.7 million householders may avail of funds to help sustainable energy use

Most optical devices use linear material, as for example with glass, where light of a certain brightness is transmitted through the material and emerges from it at the same intensity.

Potential for use of light-transmitting material in smartphones and other devices

Campaigners voice their support for  the Climate Emergency Measures Bill outside Leinster House. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Government was strongly opposed to Bill but crucial support came from Fianna Fáil

Longest-lived bats: may have evolved a unique process to lengthen their chromosomes without inducing cancer, which may keep them young. Photograph: Olivier Farcy

Research may help unlock the secrets of staying healthy in old age

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett: ‘We have to keep 80 per cent of all known fossil fuels in the ground if we are to have any chance of fighting climate change.’  File Photograph: Reuters

Solidarity-People Before Profit Bill to go before Dáil

Ireland has only one offshore wind farm, the Arklow Bank in the Irish Sea

Growth driven by lower costs to install turbines, bigger turbines and increased capacity

The basking shark is facing extinction in Irish waters, according to a new report. File photograph: Getty Images

Irish Wildlife Trust calls for full legal protection for threatened sealife

 Caolann Brady, overall SciFest winner 2016, Christopher Carragher, overall SciFest winner 2014, and Margie McCarthy, head of education and public engagement at Science Foundation Ireland. Photograph: Shane O’Neill, SON Photographic

Fairs offer opportunity to develop research, problem-solving and presentation skills

Erwin Schrödinger came to Ireland in September 1939 as a refugee who travelled across England to Dublin.

Austrian physicist who fled to Dublin delivered famous ‘What is Life?’ lecture

Denis Naughten: Announced a scheme to financially support small-scale solar energy generation. Photograph: Collins

Scheme rolled out this summer is due to be extended to businesses, community organisations and farmers

 Prof Siobhán Clarke, director of Enable

Science Foundation Ireland and industry fund Enable research on tech potential

The latest data points to leaner production methods in the pharmaceutical sector. Photograph: iStock

New web resource on National Waste Statistics launched

Beef production in Ireland was in  the top-five globally for carbon-efficiency, IFA president Joe Healy has said. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Ireland ‘will miss 2020 targets and is set to miss 2030 and 2050 targets’, committee told

A cancer cell. More than 40,000 new cancer cases were diagnosed in Ireland in the past year. Photograph: Getty Images

The report also warns that the number of cancer cases in the State is set to rise sharply

The Irish Cement facility in Castlemungret has returned to the national priority site list following an incident in December which resulted in the release of dust outside the site.

Six of the sites cited account for more than half of all complaints received in 2017

Sulky rider Des Gallagher at the Ballinasloe Horse Fair in 2006. Galway Co Council has since banned sulky racing at the fairair because of “health and safety issues allied to insurance liability concerns, and the views of animal rights groups”. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath to introduce Bill on public safety and animal welfare grounds

A jawbone with teeth recently discovered at Misliya Cave on Mount Carmel In Israel, dated to 177,000-194,000 years ago. Photograph: Tel Aviv University/EPA

Fossil suggests our ancestors left Africa emigrated far earlier than previously thought

 Iceland managing director Richard Walker with examples of  non-plastic packaging, after the retailer   committed to eliminating plastic packaging for all own-brand products within five years to help end the “scourge” of plastic pollution. File photograph: Iceland/PA Wire

Direct action: Some shoppers unpack products and leave plastic and cardboard behind

Dr Russell McLaughlin of TCD: ‘We are interested in understanding how genes can influence our risk of developing certain conditions.’

Interwoven biological relationships between both countries go back to Viking times

The Food and Drink Strategy 2018-2023 says food could help grow tourism revenue by €400 million over the next five years.

Five-year strategy aims to provide international visitors with ‘immersive experiences’

A revised CAP includes a radical overhaul of “the delivery model for the agri-food sector’s green contribution”, according to EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Changes ‘must support family farms and underpin production of food to highest standards’

‘Positive Steps Towards a Low Carbon Future for the Irish Dairy Sector’ was launched by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed (second right) with Prof John Fitzgerald, Eamonn Farrell, and Martin Keane. Photograph: Colm Mahady/Fennells.

Changes to milking can save on electricity and cut carbon emissions, new report finds

If Ireland did not introduce additional taxes on carbon, ‘it will be eye wateringly expensive’for the Exchequer to ensure Irish houses are retrofitted by 2050,’ Oireachtas committee hears. File   photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Average capital cost to upgrade to a ‘zero energy’ house is between €30-€40k, committee hears

A re-enactment of the Battle of Clontarf carried out in Dublin. File photograph:   Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Centuries-old debate continues as social media analysis used to explore Viking-Irish strife

The Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association said  there was clearly a problem with disposable coffee cups  which  members wanted to help resolve – but not if it heaped extra costs on them. File photograph: Getty Images

Litter issue compounded by ‘lack of facilities, contaminated waste and lack of enforcement’

Lava spews from the Mayon volcano in Manila, the Philippines, as it continues to erupt. Photograph: Charism Sayat/AFP/Getty Images

Scientists based in Ireland and Australia discover crystals deep within earth surface

At the launch of the 3 Counties Energy Agency on the Dunbrody famine ship in New Ross, Co Wexford, were  Marie Donnelly, former director for renewables, research and innovation, energy efficiency with the European Commission, Paddy Phelan, 3CEA manager, and Cllr Denis Foley, chairman  of the 3CEA board. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Wexford, Kilkenny and Carlow come together to support effort on climate change

The lamb carcass was slaughtered at a processing plant where a moderately elevated level of dioxin was subsequently found in a “composite sample” of 10 combined livers. Photograph: iStock

Food Safety Authority says contaminated lamb does not pose a public health risk

Ellie Concannon, Aoibhe Briscoe and Kate Owens from Coláiste Iognaid, Galway with their project on microbeads and microplastics in water at the 2018 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

The making (and marketing) of a typical Young Scientist project

A sunny day in Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green.  Hot days in Ireland are projected to  get warmer by up to 2.6 degrees by 2050. Photograph: Frank Miller

National strategy for adapting to climate change published

Simon Meehan and his science teacher, Karina Lyne. Much of the criticism  for the winner came from people passing judgment on a piece of sound science that had hallmarks of brilliance, even though they had not read it

Much of the social media criticism of this year’s winner was laced with uninformed commentary

Astrid Gundersen  (3), from Swords, at the Friends of the Earth protest outside the Dáil on Wednesday as the joint Oireachtas environment committee began hearings on the Waste Reduction Bill. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister concerned ban on single-use plastic may run counter to EU directive

 Plastics and other detritus line the shore of the Thames Estuary. Photograph:  Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Commission says all plastic packaging will be recyclable by end of decade

Simon Meehan with  his science teacher Karina Lyne after he was awarded top prize at the 2018 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Photograph: Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography

Simon Meehan (15) won for landmark study on plants growing in his Co Cork back garden

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Climate minister says higher taxes and incentives needed to decarbonise Irish society

Jack Kennedy from Coláiste Mhuire, Tipperary with exhibit ‘Analysing the effect of 1st year students positivity using ‘three good things’.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Affects of FOMO among projects in social- behavioural category which were favourite among visitors

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow: ‘The trouble is Trump has captured the whole concept of fake news and is adding to it’. File photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

C4 presenter says world is ‘living in a dicey moment’ with shift of advertising to Facebook

Simon Meehan, from Coláiste Choilm, Co Cork, who has won the top prize at this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Simon Meehan was one of the 1,100 students involved in 550 projects who made last stage

 Minister For Education & Skills Richard Bruton  with Conor Walsh from Ardscoil Rís, Dublin, with his exhibit ‘The influence of music on cycling speed (and wheel rotations)’ at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS, Dublin. Photograph:  Gareth Chaney/Collins

Winner of young scientist of the year title to be announced on Friday evening

Ellie O’Leary, Georgina Pettit, Ryan Nurke, Eoin Kehoe, Daniel Murphy and Sophie Burke Corish from Scoil Mhuire, Our Lady’s Island, Co Wexford, with their project on the salt level in their brackish lake at the RDS Primary Science fair. Photograph: Alan Betson

Project inspired by farmer grandfather ‘who keeps complaining they get it wrong’

Darragh Flynn Kenny and Patrick McMahon from Catherine McAuley NS, Baggot Street Lower, with their school project What Is Going on with Light, Shadow and Colour? Photograph: Alan Betson

The fair at the RDS investigates questions such as ‘Why do onions make us cry?’

Darragh Fleming, Colm Looney and  Ethan O’Neill from Kerry with their project.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Young Kerry scientists believe official figures of deer accidents hugely underestimated

Dr Norah Patten: her ultimate dream is to visit the International Space Station.   Photograph: Sean Curtin

Dr Norah Patten, from Ballina, is set on a course to becoming Ireland’s first astronaut

 Sam Hendrick (left) and Elle MacHale from Sutton park school with exhibit ‘Investigating the forces transmitted when heading a football’ during the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition at the RDS ,Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Former Irish international forward Kevin Doyle offers guidance in study

President Michael D Higgins opens the BT Young Scientist & Technology exhibition,  RDS, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

President urges young scientists to embrace ethics and economics

Prof Mark Ferguson, director general  Science Foundation Ireland. Photograph: Eric Luke

Ireland at risk of failing to compete globally as other countries up Stem investment

Clodagh Clarke and Abbie Cassidy, students from Ringsend College in Dublin,  at the BT Young Scientist of the Year exhibition at the RDS on Tuesday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Exhibition open to public from Thursday to Saturday when over 50,000 visitors expected

Former president Mary Robinson: she said in recent months the foundation’s board  had been considering its  future direction

Staff, donors and campaign partners informed of changes to future operation of foundation

Margot Moore, a first-year student from Loreto Foxrock, at the launch of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS. Photograph: Eric Luke

At the Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, the quality continues to improve

The provisional EU deal agreed late last month includes “flexibilities” on targets for reducing carbon emissions up to 2030. Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

Ireland rewarded for carbon emissions growing in line with economy, An Taisce says

In the reviewed studies rodents given paracetamol during pregnancy, at doses equivalent to those that a pregnant woman may take for pain relief, produced female offspring with fewer eggs. Photograph: Getty Images

Animal research indicates use of medication may impact female offspring’s number of eggs

China has banned the importation of recyclable material including most categories of plastic from January 1st. Photograph:  Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Concern that ban could lead to more incineration and dumping

Groundsman for West Untied FC Keith Devlin, inspects their waterlogged pitch after Storm Eleanor wreaked havoc in the area. Photograph: Ray Ryan

Evidence shows strong links between extreme events and human-caused warming

Ireland generated 27 per cent of its power needs from wind for the whole of last year.

Between Christmas and New Year’s Day it delivered 20 per cent of electricity needs

Last year the Minister for the Environment gave €1.3 million to local authorities and national waste agencies to fund a crackdown on illegal dumping

Minister says surveillance campaign using drone imagery will run again this year

Up to €20,000 is available to Irish businesses through Ervia towards the purchase of a new natural gas vehicle. Photograph: Fennell

Project to be overseen by Gas Networks Ireland and NUI Galway

The latest survey by Irish Business Against Litter  shows increased litter levels in Dublin city centre and in disadvantaged areas of Galway, Limerick and Cork. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Irish cities and towns are getting cleaner but some areas are seeing a spike in littering

Irish Water says the  covered Stillorgan reservoir is due to be operational by 2020, and  will have capacity to support growth to 2031.

An Bord Pleanála approves new covered facility amid water quality concerns

Minister for Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten published Ireland’s National Mitigation Plan earlier this year, which aims to hold agricultural emissions at a steady level and to make more demanding cuts in the other sectors.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Ireland to be allowed take forestry and soils into account for greenhouse gas obligations

Six-month studies showed twice-weekly workouts may help people with mild cognitive impairment. Photograph: Getty

‘What’s good for your heart can be good for your brain ,’ Alzheimer’s expert says

Up to 97% of Irish plastic, including plastic bottles, went to China because of a lack of processing capacity at home.

China took 95% of our plastic waste in 2016, but a ban will mean that’s no longer possible

Greenpeace International recently revealed correspondence estimating 280,000 tons a year of UK plastic packaging would be affected by the ban. Photograph: Getty Images

Confusion and worry about move by the world’s biggest processor of recyclable materials

New management plan for bogs strikes  appropriate balance between protection  and the needs of turf cutters, the Minister for Culture has said. Photograph: Getty Images

Management plan for raised bogs published

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, who yesterday ratified the figures of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Threshold set at multiplier of 1.7, applied to average rate of demand as found in analysis

Margot Moore (left) and Aimee O’Neill, first-year students at Loreto Foxrock, join the Ultimate Science Show  at the launch of the 2017 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, in 54th year, is largest such event in Europe

Summer thunderstorms are projected to increase in frequency and intensity, often triggering flash floods. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Hazard of summer thunderstorms also registers in extensive US climate-change study

The black-legged Kittiwake in classical pose, perched on a coastal cliff face.

Gull named for its distinctive ‘kitt-i-wake’ call placed on Red List of threatened bird species

The State’s energy import dependency in 2016 was 69 per cent, down from 88 per cent on 2015.

State decoupling economic growth from energy use too slowly, green energy agency says

The conference heard that the lessons of Storm Ophelia needed to be absorbed in order to ensure vital infrastructure is more resilient. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Ireland may have to endure temperature rise of over four degrees, conference told

The Environmental Protection Agency said local authorities needed to improve segregation of household food waste to avoid avoid odour nuisance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA says local authorities need to improve segregation of household food waste

Ireland produced its largest amount of renewable electricity ever last year, on the back of the introduction of an additional 400 megawatts of power from wind turbines. Photograph: PA

Report shows spending on fossil fuels fell by €1.2bn as Ireland’s energy use changes

Discarded tyres constituted a significant litter nuisance. Photograph: Getty Images

Analysis exposes surge in nitrate seepage due to farming, tyre nuisance and plastic hazards

No plan B: the One Planet Summit is being held two years to the day since the landmark Paris accord on climate change was agreed. Photograph: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty

Tax could raise up to €5bn a year to fund fight against climate change

Lead author Edmund Gilbert of the RCSI says the research shows Ireland acts as a sink of Celtic ancestry, with its genetically closest continental European population lying in the Breton region in northwestern France. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Volunteers sought to take part in Irish DNA Atlas project

  Luas tram on a test run on Dawson Street. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Transport project should help lessen carbon footprint through taking cars off roads

Flooding in Salthill, Galway, during Storm Ophelia in October 2017. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Climate study finds average annual rainfall has risen, and flash flood patterns have changed

Businesses that generate commercially usable heat from renewable energy sources will be eligible to receive ongoing payments under new scheme. Photograph: Eric Luke

Scheme designed to reduce reliance on fossil fuel heating systems without repeating mistakes of ‘cash for ash’ in Northern Ireland

‘The Irish Times’ has supported citizen science projects in recent years, including a successful national survey in 2015 to learn more about the genetics of cats. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Irish Times working with citizen science researchers in coming months

The side-bet club had become an alliance of leading companies already investing in hydrogen value chain – 18 multinationals including Toyota, Alstom, BMW and Royal Dutch Shell. File photograph: Getty Images

A decarbonised world is a must if climate change is to be stopped and rolled back

Denis Naughten: he has repeatedly highlighted that clean air  is a priority due to the health effects of traditional house coal

Coal distributors have 12 months to sell off existing stocks before total ban in 2019

The Climate Change Advisory Council says Ireland has the third highest emissions per capita for residential energy use in the EU

Climate council warns economic growth and rising emissions ‘not yet decoupled’

New measures should include a substantial increase in the carbon tax, and a phasing out of coal and peat for both residential heating and power generation. Photograph: Getty

Ireland has the third highest emissions per capita for residential energy use in the EU

There’s a need to be able to answer questions raised about the expansion of the dairy and beef sectors, and to be “persuasively sustainable”, according to Aidan O’Driscoll. Photograph: iStock

Expansion and meeting climate change obligations is doable according to Aidan O’Driscoll

European Commissioner for  Agriculture Phil Hogan: “Ireland needs to wake up, and fast, to the reality that we are part of an EU that has assumed the role of global leader in the climate challenge.”  Photograph: EPA/Olivier Hoslet

Phil Hogan says failure to meet environmental targets can be counted in hard currency

Sea ice in Victoria Strait, Nunavut, Canadian Arctic: the impact of current climate change on the planet may be larger than expected. Photograph: Cory Glencross/iStock/Getty

NUI Galway-led study suggests past indicates seriousness of climate change

A large boulder deposited at Annagh Head in Co Mayo.

Researchers compared Irish sites with location in New Zealand ravaged by a tsunami millions of years ago

Prof William Campbell at Trinity College Dublin this week, pictured with his original dissection kit from his time as an undergraduate student at the university. Photograph: Paul Sharp/Sharppix

William C Campbell’s retirement has been ‘absolutely ruined’ since he won the prize aged 85

Dublin’s new waste incinerator in Poolbeg is operating at full capacity, and processing approximately 1,800 tonnes of solid waste per day.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

HSA launched criminal investigation after a lime leak in June resulted in 11 workers being hospitalised

The conference was attended by renewable energy producers from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark

Ambassadors host ‘Nordic Green’ conference in Dublin on the future of renewable energy

 A Tesla electric car parks at a charging station. A new grant to support installation of home charger points for buyers of new and second-hand electric vehicles will be rolled out next year.  Photograph: Alexander Becher/EPA/

Government to introduce series of measures in effort to increase uptake of technology

Providing roof-top solar panels in schools would enable communities to see tangible benefits and the resulting long-term energy savings should go directly to the schools, a conference in Dublin heard. File photograph: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Conference hears State’s ‘green branding’ is ‘evaporating before our eyes’ due to emissions

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