Science in brief

TCD physicists create a sensor from graphene and silly putty   On December 9, the prestigious journal Science published a paper on “Sensitive electromechanical sensors using viscoelastic graphene-polymer nanocomposites” which reports on a very exciting discovery of what is now called G-putty at Trinity’s Amber materials science centre. The team was led by Prof. Jonathan […]

Dáil discusses the legalisation of marijuana for medicinal purposes

“Early last month saw Cork mother Vera Twomey pledge to walk 150 miles to Dublin to raise awareness of the effectiveness of cannabis in seizure treatment.”   On 2 December 2016, a bill to allow the legalisation of marijuana for medicinal purposes was passed through the second stage of the Dáil with no opposition. Bill […]

Teaching methods in science from the dark ages

  “Students learn at different rates and in varying ways and hence accepting an answer too quickly results in terminating their thought process.”   Most lecturers we come across aspire to be good teachers and want their students to learn, and TCD claims to nurture the tradition of scholarship and excellence. Unfortunately, this cannot be […]

Genes that make dogs a man’s best friend discovered

  “Studies have confirmed that dogs, like preverbal infants, are aware of the intentional dimension of communication, an interspecies social skill that not even apes possess.”   Have you ever felt as though your dog is trying to talk to you? Not in the literal sense of course (although sometimes I swear my dog actually […]

Microbes on Mars

  “Mars however presents a challenge that requires novel ideas and technologies, ideas which will come from disciplines not normally associated with space travel.”     It seems inevitable that humans will venture to Mars in the near future; SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently announced plans for manned missions to Mars as early as 2022. […]

Mysteries of physics: vacuum zero-point energy

Physics of an Empty Box   Imagine we took a box, removed all matter from it, cooled it to the lowest temperature possible to remove all heat and sealed it perfectly. It appears that we imagined a boring empty box with absolutely nothing in it, but this is not true. Quantum mechanics predicts that in […]

Farmers, wildlife, freak-outs and facts

Wildlife conservation in Ireland has had a number of success stories to celebrate in recent years. Birds of prey such as the white-tailed sea eagle are breeding down in Killarney National Park after being reintroduced. This past week it was reported that another reintroduced bird of prey, the red kite, has successfully bred in Fingal […]

Surgical pioneer set for the first human head transplant

Three years ago, Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero announced that he could perform a human head transplant in a two-part procedure called HEAVEN (head anastomosis venture) and Gemini (the fusion of the spinal cord). Many have dismissed Canavero’s plans, with one bioethicist going so far as to label him a “Looney Tune,” but there are still […]

Citizen science: The dawn of amateur scientific discovery

Most of us are introduced to science at school as a rigid set of principles, equations and facts – laws that describe the world. Most of us don’t experience the process by which we construct these laws when studying science. As the astronomer Carl Sagan said, “Science is more than a body of knowledge. It […]

The giant panda’s disappearance from the endangered species list

The giant panda has become something of a success story after the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) downgraded its threat level from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Vulnerable’. This is largely due to the monumental efforts made by the Chinese government to preserve this icon of Chinese wildlife.   Intensive captive breeding programmes and efforts to […]

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Editors





Niamh Lynch
news@trinitynews.ie
Kelly McGlynn
features@trinitynews.ie
Michael Foley
comment@trinitynews.ie
Katarzyna Siewierska
scitech@trinitynews.ie
Clare McCarthy
sport@trinitynews.ie

Illustration

Aisling Crabbe
Natalia Duda
Sarah Morel
Mike Dolan
John Tierney
Naoise Dolan
Sarah Larragy
Mubbashir Ali Sultan
Nadia Bertaud
Daniel Tatlow

Photography

Kevin O'Rourke
Ines Niarchos
Huda Awan