Science Spin Logo


Science Spin 63

The laboratory lover

In this issue of Science Spin; what’s it like to work on quality control in a pharmaceutical company? The moment that Aine Moyna caught the whiff of sulphur and saw the strange looking instruments she knew that she wanted to work in labs. Moyna talked to Seán Duke about her experience in working in labs. Read more..

Smashing discoveries

What do scientists do when they want to find out something new? As one of CERNs leading scientists, Eilam Gross, explains, they smash up matter to see what’s inside. In this case, the scientists discovered the Higgs particle, but that is far from the end of the story. The particle, which only lasts for a tiny fraction of a second, shows that the entire Universe is in an invisible field, and this may explain why we and everything around us put on weight.

Ask a scientist

Here’s your chance to ask some awkward questions. Our panel of expert scientists is ready to respond with answers. In this issue Sive Finlay and Jon Jearsley answer the question “are humans still evolving?”, Margaret Franklin answers the question”How many colours can we see?”, Terry Mosley answers the question “why does the Moon always face the Earth?” and Con O’Rourke answer the question “are organic foods more nutritious?’ Read more..

Harvesting energy

The opening of a new bioenergy plant in County Roscommon is great news for forestry growers in the region. The milk processing plant at Ballaghaderreen is to consume 30,000 tonnes of wood chip a year and supplying this fuel is likely to give farm-foresters an income boost as well as sparking off further demand as other energy projects come on stream. Read more..

The future of computers

More and more processing power is being packed into less and less space, but there is a limit to how far this can go. What then? As Chris Coughlan reports, we are about to enter the strange and spooky quantum world, and the computers of the future will bear little resemblance to the ones we are familiar with now.

Science Spin Articles

Who Owns Your DNA?

by Lisa Duffy

Are people's DNA sequences their own business and nobody else's. In an essay that won the annual REMEDI essay competition for schools, Lisa Duffy, a student at Castleblayney College, Monaghan, considers when, if ever, it is right to use the DNA without the consent of owners.

Read more

Where Have All The Eels Gone?

by Christopher Moriarty

Nearly everybody knows that eels breed in the Sargasso Sea, but do they? The world's leading eel experts are no longer sure as no eel eggs have been ever found there. The second of a pair of spectacular new attempts to answer the question of 'Where do the eels go?' is in progress. This time, scientists have attached highly sophisticated tags to 29 enormous eels that are making their way westwards across the Atlantic Ocean.

Read more

Disinfectants not working

by Tom Kennedy

Microbiologist, Dr Mary Corcoran, tested three different disinfectants on established films of Salmonella and found that they simply did not work. The main reason for the failure to kill off the Salmonella is that it had formed what is known as a biofilm. On their own, micro-organisms are open to attack, but within a few days many, such as Salmonella, form a biofilm, similar to plaque on teeth, and collectively they are much more difficult to dislodge.

Read more