Department ordered to reconsider the application in a High Court ruling by Ms Justice Mary Faherty. Photograph: Eric Luke

Historic move follows an Access to Information on the Environment request made by campaign group Right to Know regarding discussio(...)

“Drug treatment is indicated for those with proven disease or at high risk of developing disease when diet and lifestyle interventions don’t sufficiently reduce LDL levels,” Prof Vincent Maher  explains. Photograph: Getty Images

International expert bodies recommend lifestyle/dietary intervention and surveillance

Prof Vincent Maher in the cardiology unit of Tallaght Hospital. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Abnormalities in cholesterol levels are proven to cause cardiovascular disease

Biomethane generates 8 per cent of the EU’s total renewable energy sources and accounts for 4 per cent of all gas use, the conference heard. Photograph: iStock

Biomethane conference in Dublin told Republic generates ‘a hell of a lot of manures’

The report shows 87,000 tonnes of non-recyclable content is ending up in recycling bins every year. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Repak calls on Government to establish a plastics working group to oversee transition

The sea pounds small boats in the harbour at Portstewart, Co Derry, as Storm Ali sweeps through the Causeway coast on Wednesday. Photograph: Margaret McLaughlin

More winds coming from the east are the cause of extensive tree loss, says expert

The use of surgical mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence has been banned or restricted in many countries. Photograph: iStock

Better evaluation needed of use in operations involving pelvic region organs, review says

Anna Fleck and her brother Adrian Fleck, from Germany, with their project at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists, at the RDS, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

EU Contest for Young Scientists: How a liquid starch material can give tough results

Simon Meehan from Ballincollig, Cork, participating in  the European Union Contest for Young Scientists at the RDS, speaking with President Michael Higgins and his wife Sabina Coyne. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Contributions critical to advancing Paris Agreement, Higgins tells EU contest in RDS

Slovakian scientists Maria Babincakova, Filip Kucerak, Anna Mojzisova and Janka Motesicka at the set up of the European Union Contest for Young Scientists at the RDS. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Some the world’s brightest young minds descend on Dublin to showcase their projects

Sleep apnoea and snoring were once thought to be “disorders of middle-aged men”, but  latest research suggests snoring affects half of adult men, while sleep apnoea affects a quarter. Photograph: iStock

Almost a fifth of couples worldwide forced to sleep apart due to snoring, says professor

 Prof Colin O’Dowd and Dr Jurgita Ovadnevaite of NUI Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Scientists at NUI Galway say recurrence of smog likely in Ireland

The EU has adopted demanding new directives on renewable energy. Photograph: Getty Images

Government 'needs to stop making aspirational pledges’ and adopt renewable energy, says Prof John Sweeney

The council is also reviewing national policies in light an EU requirement that a draft “climate and energy plan” be completed by the end of 2018.

Chairman says without higher price on carbon, Irish CO2 emissions will continue to rise

Latest WHO report shows most European countries are on track to reach Health 2020 inititiative targets Photograph: iStock

Some of 53 countries studied also have highest sense of ‘life satisfaction’ in world

Naked Bacon,  made without cancer-causing nitrites, has been developed by Finnebrogue Artisan in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland-based company uses fruit and spice extracts in bacon-curing process

 American molecular biologist and  co-discoverer of the structure of DNA James Watson: Trump has not been good for science. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

James Watson interview: DNA-pioneer on racism, Trump, belief and scientific truth

Circadian clocks affect all aspects of what humans do. The same clock operates in the liver, heart and skin cells, and is regulated by genes.

‘Schrodinger at 75’ conference hears of sleep/wake cycle and circadian rhythm

The search for new psychiatric drugs should focus on which brain ‘wire’ to change, Prof Kay Tye told the Schrödinger at 75 conference at the NCH. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Cutting-edge methodologies emerging to interrogate brain circuitry, Prof Kay Tye says

The audience at the Schrödinger at 75 conference, organised by Trinity College Dublin at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Scientists are focusing research on compressing period of illnesses linked to getting old

   Simon Meehan,  Co Cork who is flying the flag for Ireland in the EUCYS at the RDS. Photograph: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

Cork student and BT Young Scientist winner Simon Meehan flies Irish flag at EUCYS

If cloning a mammoth was to become possible, a living cell would be necessary “to jump-start cellular specialisation and development”, Prof Beth Shapiro told the Schrodinger at 75 conference in Dublin.

Genetic techniques will make it possible to bring extinct species back to life, conference told

TCD chancellor and former president Mary Robinson said Schrödinger inspired generations of scientists.

Many of ‘the brightest minds’ working on the big questions set to stir scientific melting pot

Nivolumab is already approved for use in cases of melanoma, renal cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma and a form of cancer affecting the head and neck, and has now been approved for lung cancer.

Nivolumab is potentially life-extending and can be used where chemotherapy has failed

Theoretical physicist Erwin Schrödinger who ventured into biology to ask the question, ‘What is Life?’ in a series of lectures in TCD during 1943. Photo: Getty Images.

Five Nobel Prize-winners and some of the world’s most brilliant science minds will speak at the Schrödinger at 75 – the Future of (...)

Erwin Schrödinger: a very live cat. Photograph: Ullstein Bild via Getty Images

The great physicist moved to Clontarf in 1939 on Dev’s invitation with his wife and mistress

Erwin Schrödinger: the Austrian physicist was  brought to Ireland by Éamon de Valera in 1939 to be the first director of theoretical physics at the new Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Photograph: Bettman Archives

A conference in Trinity College Dublin – where Schrödinger gave his famous talks in 1943 – will bring some of the brightest scient(...)

Dr Hoesung Lee, chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change spoke at a conference on Thursday in Trinity College Dublin to mark the panel’s 30th anniversary. File Photograph: Alan Betson

Dr Hoesung Lee pays tribute to Ireland’s ‘generosity’ to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Minister for Climate Action and Environment  Denis  Naughten acknowledged  “very disappointing” Environmental Protection Agency figures showing Ireland was locked into a trend of rising CO2 emissions. File photograph: Getty Images

Ireland faces huge challenges to meet binding 2020 EU targets, says Minister

Dr Fiachra Long, head of UCC’s school of education, poses to take a selfie in Cork city in front of a backdrop, which gives the impression he is in the Caribbean, as he discusses nanotechnology. Photograph: Clare Keogh

Aim is to encourage ‘great communication’ from researchers tackling global challenges

The Report on Climate Change and Land will be of critical importance to Ireland, Denis Naughten said, as agriculture is responsible for more than 30 per cent of Irish emissions. File photograph:Getty Images

Event marks 30th anniversary of UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Dr Ciarán Byrne, chief executive of Inland Fisheries Ireland  with Dr Cathal Gallagher, head of research and development, at the Inland Fisheries Ireland at the launch of a report on pike. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Report reveals dramatic shift in balance of fish populations in Irish waterways

Vincent Young, cardiothoracic surgeon, who performed a robotic coronary artery bypass graft surgery in the Blackrock Clinic. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

The ‘game-changing’ procedure reduces recovery time to as little as 48 hours

Fodder and water shortages due to extreme weather events had taken a toll on farmers this year, the IFA said. Photograph: Eric Luke

Group says weather, Brexit and fears over CAP funding are putting pressure on sector

Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten drew attention to a €300m support scheme for renewable heat that will support agriculture. File photograph: Getty Images

Climate change ‘events like these’ shape how resources used, Minister tells farming forum

“Without these products, up to 80 per cent of the world’s food production would be lost,” says Miller. Above, Roundup. Photograph: Steffen Schmidt/EPA

US farmer Michelle Miller says GM food and herbicide myths must be counteracted

Dr Eoin Lettice and Dr Barbara Doyle Prestwich of UCC’s School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Photograph: John Sheehan

Conference to hear how anti-GMO groups have hijacked ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’

VTEC can be passed from person to person if hygiene or hand-washing habits are inadequate. Photograph: iStock

Avoid food poisoning with four simple steps: clean, cook, chill and separate

E.coli bug: up to August 14th there were 320 VTEC “notifications” in Ireland.

‘Astronomical’ incidence of E coli infection this summer with 715 reported cases

Red Hot Mommas protesting against a waster-water treatment plant proposed for north Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Red Hot Mommas have delivered objections to plans for facility with sea outflow

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe (centre) with Stephen Nolan, chief executive of Sustainable Nation Ireland, and Kirsten Dunlop, chief executive of EIT Climate-KIC. Photograph: Shane O’Neill

Programme aims to get financial centres to put sustainability at heart of business

Prof Stephen Sawcer said new gene technology, which was rapid and inexpensive, enabled a new approach in the search for treatments for MS.

Teams from Cambridge University and Ireland seek genetic markers for disease

Stephen Sawcer,  professor of neurological genetics at Cambridge University, who will collaborate with Genomics Medicine Ireland to identify possible treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. Photograph: Iain White/Fennell Photography.

New alliance with Genomics Medicine Ireland a chance to complete unfinished business

Breast cancer clusters growing in 3D:  Photo: NUI Galway

Potential drug identified by NUIG team that reduces cancer and helps improve treatment

The herbicide Roundup, which contains glyphosate, is manufactured by the Monsanto company, a unit of German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG, in St Louis, USA. Photograph: Steffen Schmidt/EPA

Department of Agriculture said it was guided by European Food Safety Authority on use of Roundup

Clare County Council said it disagreed with Irish Business Against Litter’s finding that Doolin pier was a “litter black spot”. Photograph: Frank Miller

‘Very unpleasant Doolin’ is in fact ‘pristine’, according to ferry operator

Prof John Boland working on nanowires, that mimic nerve cells in the brain at the AMBER research facility in TCD. Photograph:  SHARPPIX

‘Neuromorphic’ computers will be able to carry out tasks natural to the human brain

Kinsale, Co Cork. An Taisce has singled out the harbour in Kinsale as being “remarkably free of litter for a busy harbour attracting lots of tourists”. File photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Most common forms of litter were plastic bottles, cans, cigarette butts and sweet wrappers

Fibre-rich foods like carrots can stimulate the production of short-chain fatty acids.

Healthier diet lowers anxiety and reduced stress levels can aid ‘leaky’ gut problems

Between 2014 and 2017,  the world has experienced the four warmest years on record. Photograph:  Stringer/Reuters

Weakening of Gulf Stream could result in rapid temperature increases

Brexit presents more opportunities than downsides for the Irish scientific research community, says Prof Mark Ferguson, director general of Science Foundation Ireland. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘There’s some people who don’t want to live in Trump America or Brexit Britain’

Leanamore Wind Farm in Co Kerry, SSE's newest onshore wind farm, which entered full commercial operation in February 2018. Wind and tidal projects will be key to Ireland meeting 2030 targets.

Minister for the Environment and Climate Action Denis Naughten is adamant the State will play its part in a green revolution

In the EPA’s latest National Priority Sites List for Enforcement, five sites are listed for persistent failure to meet the necessary environmental standards, four of which are from the agri-food sector

EPA report shows sector has overtaken waste industry for non-compliance

A smart control panel for a domestic heater. Photograph: iStock

Moving Ireland’s two million homes away from oil to renewable forms of energy is an immense task

Galway Wind Park, Ireland’s largest onshore wind farm, which was co-developed by SSE and Coillte in Cloosh Valley, Connemara.

The need for urgent action on the climate change crisis will dramatically change the type of energy we use and how we use it

Billy Costello of Green Generation, Nurney, Co Kildare. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

With an economy based largely on agriculture, Ireland is uniquely placed to to generate biomethane using farm waste

EirGrid chief executive Mark Foley in the company’s National Control Room in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

EirGrid is at the heart of an all-Ireland energy system, but it cannot rest on its laurels, its chief executive Mark Foley says

Eirgrid's national control centre room in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The nerve centre of the Irish energy system tracks every flicker in demand

Engineers climb a turbine inspection ladder on the Airtricity wind farm on the Arklow Bank in the Irish Sea. Photograph: David O'Brien

In spite of policy gaps, Wheeler strikes optimistic note on renewables, especially offshore

An aerial view of the Irish Cement facility at Platin, Co Meath. Photograph: Aerial Eye

Making cement ‘a different process to what people perceive’

Dr Seán Healy, director of Social Justice Ireland: “Much of what Ireland is doing is damaging people, the economy or the environment.” Photograph: David Sleator

Review widely rejected as lack of education and political urgency blamed for shortfall

Michael Quirke: “it’s very hard to convince ordinary people” to embrace renewable energy “when it took me 12 years to build a windfarm”. Photograph: Larry Cummins

Michael Quirk believes farmers are key to meeting Ireland’s climate change targets

The Government would produce a new international development policy and commit financial support for global climate action later this year, Minister for for  Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten has told the UN. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister Denis Naughten accepted more needed to be done urgently if sustainable development goals to be met

Poolbeg incinerator: Covanta says there is no long-term plan to import waste. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Covanta’s quest to process more refuse has sparked concern among a variety of groups

Stags in the Phoenix Park during rutting season. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Dublin amenity and another in Sydney the only two parks to get gold in global award

Chief Justice: warned against legislators producing ‘unclear or unduly complex legislation issues’

Sustained public pressure is required for any meaningful political action, conference told

Newborn babies do not respond optimally to most vaccines due to their immature immune system. Photograph: Nicole S Young/E+/Getty

Researchers identify ‘danger signals’ efficient at triggering immune response in infants.

Burning issue: an oil rig operating for Providence Resources in Barryroe, off Co Cork. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke/Providence Resources/PA Wire

Ireland Strategic Investment Fund will have to sell off its €318m investments in fossil fuels

Mount Lucas wind farm in Co Offaly. The new National Energy and Climate Plan is due to be submitted to the EU by the end of the year and implemented in 2019. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sixteen-member committee to report before end of January 2019

The Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill, passed in the Dáil on Thursday, now goes to the Seanad, where it is expected to go through quickly and become law by the end of the year, Deputy Thomas  Pringle said.

New bill will see State become first country in the world to divest from fossil fuel assets

Donegal is the poorest performing council for its inspection rate, according to ‘RTÉ Investigates’. Photograph: Dave Meehan/Irish Times/File photo

Donegal local authority reported 10 ‘insidious’ incidents over last three years

Wastewater treatment by aeration. In a new study six wastewater treatment plants in northern England were linked to a rise  in microplastics in the rivers – on average up to three times higher but in one instance by a factor of 69

EPA says the impact of microplastics on people’s health has not been fully assessed

It is possible ‘to keep the lights on with 100 per recent renewable energy’ while causing minimal disruption to lifestyles, a UK energy expert has said.

Oireachtas committee told Climate Emergency Measures Bill ‘laudable but flawed’

Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten: GMO cultivation-free status is “a key element of our international reputation as a green, sustainable food producer”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Denis Naughten recommends opting out of directive on GMOs

The rollout of cheaper renewable energy derived from wind and solar panels could be obstructed by Ireland’s use of gas, the OCI has predicted. File photograph: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Study finds Ireland’s reliance on gas will obstruct rollout of cheaper renewable energy

3-D image of the hole in the ozone layer high above Antarctica (above).  Photograph: Nasa

Rise caused by illegal Chinese manufacturers of plastic insulating foam

Cut hedgerow near Shillelagh in Co Wicklow. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Environmental group says hedge-cutting in August will cause problems for nesting birds

The Irish Fertility Society, which represents clinics, consultants and scientists working in the sector, has expressed strong opposition to both pieces of legislation.

Act updates family law on the needs of children in ‘diverse family types’

 Gaelscoil na nDeise, Waterford, pupils, with   their SFI award, with  principal Marc de Grás, SFI’s Cathy Foley, Minister of State   John Halligan and Oisin Furlong. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Seeing so many primary schools take part in programme extremely encouraging, says SFI

Anonymous sperm and egg donation is expected to be banned in Ireland, once the Minister for Health commences enactment of Parts 2 and 3 of the 2015 Children and Family Relationships Act, which allows for parentage through donor-assisted human reproduction.  File image: PA

Patients will be able to ‘remotely’ carry out IVF with donor egg, says company

Litter is transitioning from primarily a visual concern to a health and environmental one, according to group. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

‘Marine litter signals the inevitable death of our seas unless rapid change effected’

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten: BNRG Renewables hopes he will set out the quantum of an annual auction for the years ahead.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Renewable energy firm starts work on 10 photovoltaic projects in state of Oregon

Ireland has little or no capacity to recycle soft plastic items.

‘We recycle 34 per cent of all plastic’ as the 50% target by 2025 is described as ‘ambitious’

Electric vehicle incentive “is integral to the series of Governmental support measures aimed at promoting a low-carbon transport future”, according to Minister for Transport Shane Ross. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Move will save drivers up to €500 a year, and €1,000 for good vehicles, Shane Ross says

The Larger Carder Bee, one of many Irish species under threat. Photograph: John Breen

A third of the 100 species of bees in Ireland are threatened with extinction

Absence linked to reduced sociability in people with autism spectrum disorders

Findings likely to lead to changes in the way such conditions are treated

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe agreed that meeting the climate challenge was not only in the national interest, but it was also “our national obligation”.

‘The Government does not underestimate the scale of the challenge,’ says Varadkar

By 2030 and 60 per cent of new car sales will be electric vehicles, ESB chief executive Pat O’Doherty predicted. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Country needs to rethink use of energy, ESB chief tells Energy Ireland conference

Denis Naughton rejected the basis for arriving at the ranking and the conclusions reached by the NGO, Climate Action Network Europe. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Reaching climate targets is at the top of the policy agenda for Government, says Minister

Minister for Climate Action Denis Naughten says there will be specific measures in Budget 2019 to help meet the Government’s climate change goals including on carbon tax. Photograph: Getty Images

The commitments, how we rate on efforts to curb this rolling disaster and the carbon tax

Researchers call for marital status to be included as risk factor in its own right

The CAN report highlighted the critical need for Ireland to urgently implement the recent Citizens’ Assembly proposals. Photograph: Getty Images

Reaction to CAN report: Political leadership ‘urgently needed’ to turn record around

The report says Ireland has an “impressive potential” of integrating high levels of renewables, especially wind power. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Warning of annual non-compliance costs of about €500 million unless measures taken

New EU deal on renewable energy should see more electric vehicles being used.

Target of 32% for renewable energy sought

  Ruairí Ó Cuív, grandson of Éamon de Valera with Prof Terence Rudolph, grandson of Erwin Schrödinger at an event to remember Prof Rudolph’s  grandfather,  Nobel prizewinner Erwin Schrödinger, at the Little Museum of Dublin. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Francis Crick’s letter summed up critical role played by Nobel prizewinner Erwin Schrödinger

 Ice floats near the coast of Antarctica. Photograph: Nasa

Continent lost trillions of tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017, latest research says

Icebergs in the northern Weddell Sea off Antarctica:  ice loss is speeding up and adding even more to rising sea levels. Photograph: John Sonntag/Nasa via The New York Times

Next decade critical to Antarctica’s fate and consequences for Earth, scientists warn

Secretaries general would have to account for department’s delivery on climate change

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