Thursday, 30 January 2014

Open Online Course: Marine Megafauna:an introduction to Marine Science and Conservation

Who Doesn't Like Penguins? Introducing the PLOS ONE Marine Megafauna Collection - PLOS Blogs Network

 Marine ecologist David W. Johnston introduces a new Duke University MOOC
(Massive Open Online Course) on charismatic marine megafauna, including
such popular species as penguins, dolphins and sea turtles. Offered on
the Coursera platform beginning Feb 3, Marine Megafauna: An Introduction to Marine Science and Conservation is
the first MOOC to employ a curriculum focused on the use of PLOS ONE
Open Access research, including original articles, along with field data
and multimedia.

Friday, 24 January 2014

'Child-Innovac research project develops Whopping cough nasal spray vaccine

Vaccine development for whopping cough

NUI
Maynooth’s Institute of Immunology has played a key role in the
development of a more effective vaccine for pertussis (commonly known as
whooping cough), which can be administered intranasally, making it
available to greater numbers of people at a reduced cost.



Pertussis has demonstrated a resurgence in developed countries in recent
years and the disease kills approximately 300,000 children worldwide
annually. The ‘Child-Innovac’ research project has succeeded in testing
in humans, for the first time, a live bacterial vaccine, genetically
attenuated and specifically designed to be delivered as a nasal spray
from birth. The nasal delivery introduces the whopping cough vaccine to
the mucosa in the nose, which houses front-line immune defences against
pathogens of the respiratory system. - See more at:
http://www.nuim.ie/news-events/vaccine-development-whopping-cough#.dpuf
NUI
Maynooth’s Institute of Immunology has played a key role in the
development of a more effective vaccine for pertussis (commonly known as
whooping cough), which can be administered intranasally, making it
available to greater numbers of people at a reduced cost.



Pertussis has demonstrated a resurgence in developed countries in recent
years and the disease kills approximately 300,000 children worldwide
annually. The ‘Child-Innovac’ research project has succeeded in testing
in humans, for the first time, a live bacterial vaccine, genetically
attenuated and specifically designed to be delivered as a nasal spray
from birth. The nasal delivery introduces the whopping cough vaccine to
the mucosa in the nose, which houses front-line immune defences against
pathogens of the respiratory system. - See more at:
http://www.nuim.ie/news-events/vaccine-development-whopping-cough#.dpuf
NUI Maynooth’s Institute of Immunology has played a key role in the development of a more effective vaccine for pertussis (commonly known as whooping cough), which can be administered intranasally, making it available to greater numbers of people at a reduced cost.
 Pertussis has demonstrated a resurgence in developed countries in recent years and the disease kills approximately 300,000 children worldwide annually. The ‘Child-Innovac’ research project has succeeded in testing in humans, for the first time, a live bacterial vaccine, genetically attenuated and specifically designed to be delivered as a nasal spray from birth. The nasal delivery introduces the whopping cough vaccine to the mucosa in the nose, which houses front-line immune defences against pathogens of the respiratory system. - See more at: http://www.nuim.ie/news-events/vaccine-development-whopping-cough#.dpuf

NUI
Maynooth’s Institute of Immunology has played a key role in the
development of a more effective vaccine for pertussis (commonly known as
whooping cough), which can be administered intranasally, making it
available to greater numbers of people at a reduced cost.



Pertussis has demonstrated a resurgence in developed countries in recent
years and the disease kills approximately 300,000 children worldwide
annually. The ‘Child-Innovac’ research project has succeeded in testing
in humans, for the first time, a live bacterial vaccine, genetically
attenuated and specifically designed to be delivered as a nasal spray
from birth. The nasal delivery introduces the whopping cough vaccine to
the mucosa in the nose, which houses front-line immune defences against
pathogens of the respiratory system. - See more at:
http://www.nuim.ie/news-events/vaccine-development-whopping-cough#.dpuf
NUI
Maynooth’s Institute of Immunology has played a key role in the
development of a more effective vaccine for pertussis (commonly known as
whooping cough), which can be administered intranasally, making it
available to greater numbers of people at a reduced cost.



Pertussis has demonstrated a resurgence in developed countries in recent
years and the disease kills approximately 300,000 children worldwide
annually. The ‘Child-Innovac’ research project has succeeded in testing
in humans, for the first time, a live bacterial vaccine, genetically
attenuated and specifically designed to be delivered as a nasal spray
from birth. The nasal delivery introduces the whopping cough vaccine to
the mucosa in the nose, which houses front-line immune defences against
pathogens of the respiratory system. - See more at:
http://www.nuim.ie/news-events/vaccine-development-whopping-cough#.dpuf

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

ESA’s ‘sleeping beauty’ wakes up from deep space hibernation

ESA’s ‘sleeping beauty’ wakes up from deep space hibernation

It was a fairy-tale ending to a tense chapter in the story of the Rosetta space mission this evening as ESA heard from its distant spacecraft for the first time in 31 months. Rosetta is chasing down Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, where it will become the first space mission to rendezvous with a comet, the first to attempt a landing on a comet’s surface, and the first to follow a comet as it swings around the Sun. 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Elsevier issues take down notices for articles posted on Research Gate and Academia.edu

Posting Your Latest Article? You Might Have to Take It Down – Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Guy Leonard received an unpleasant surprise in his inbox early this morning: a notice from Academia.edu saying it had taken down a copy of an article
of his that he’d posted on the research-sharing platform. The reason? A
takedown request from Elsevier, which publishes the journal in which
the paper had appeared.



Monday, 20 January 2014

Snowball Earth !

BBC Nature - Snowball Earth videos, news and facts

Snowball Earth describes a theory that for millions of years the Earth
was entirely smothered in ice, stretching from the poles to the tropics.
This freezing happened over 650 million years ago in the Pre-Cambrian,
though it's now thought that there may have been more than one of these
global glaciations. They varied in duration and extent but during a
full-on snowball event, life could only cling on in ice-free refuges, or
where sunlight managed to penetrate through the ice to allow
photosynthesis.

Oxfam reports an increase in global economic inequality

Working for the Few | Oxfam International

Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of
the population, and seven out of ten people live in countries where
economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years. The World
Economic Forum has identified economic inequality as a major risk to
human progress, impacting social stability within countries and
threatening security on a global scale.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Irish contribution to space race to go on display to public

Irish contribution to space race to go on display to public
 A small part of the 1960s space race will soon go on display in Ireland, an experiment that flew to the moon in April 1972 with Apollo 16. Irish scientists devised and developed the experiment with colleagues in California.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

EU bee shortage threatens crops

EU bee shortage threatens crops
 Scientists believe that a boom in biofuels has sparked a massive increase in the need for pollination.
The shortage is particularly acute in Britain which has only a quarter of the honeybees required.
Researchers believe that wild pollinators including bumblebees and hoverflies are making up the shortfall.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Teagasc has launched its newly developed Open Access repository

T-Stor: Home
 Teagasc is the agriculture and food development authority in Ireland. Its mission is to support science-based innovation in the agri-food sector and the broader bioeconomy that will underpin profitability, competitiveness and sustainability.

Flooding and public policy

Drowning in money: the untold story of the crazy public spending that makes flooding inevitable
Every year billions are spent in Britain and Europe on policies that actually cause greater flooding through a seeming ignoring of the available evidence.

Monday, 13 January 2014

FutureLearn- Free Online Courses

Browse courses — FutureLearn
 Future Learn offer a diverse selection of free, high quality online courses from some of the world’s leading universities and other outstanding cultural institutions.  Topics include Climate change, sustanability, Forensic Science, Shakespheres Hamlet, Cancer and the influence of Genes. These are short online courses that require a committment of a few hours a week. The content looks really good and they are provided by a number of different partner universities. It seems like a great way to showcase those Colleges involved.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Lough Neagh has lost three quarters of its winter water birds

Wildlife Extra News - Largest lake in British Isles has lost three quarters of winter water birds
The study, by Quercus, Northern Ireland’s Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, found the number of diving ducks migrating to the lake for the winter months has dropped from 100,000 to less than 21,000 in the space of a decade.
 The research, published in the journal Freshwater Biology, found the ecosystem of the lake has dramatically changed since 2000/01 leading to a huge decline in the numbers of insects and snails living at the bottom of the lake. This combined with the effects of global climate change dramatically affected the numbers of migratory and overwintering water birds, a feature for which the lake is designated a Special Protection Area.

HEA Publishes Detailed Profiles of Higher Education Institutions | Higher Education Authority

HEA Publishes Detailed Profiles of Higher Education Institutions | Higher Education Authority The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has published a detailed set of profiles of Ireland’s universities, institutes and colleges, which include a breakdown of enrolments, disciplinary mix, participation levels, internationalisation, research and knowledge transfer performance, staff profiles and institutional funding. The document will give a very transparent picture of Irish higher education today and will be updated annually. It is designed to support higher education institutions in their strategic performance management in order to maximise the contribution of each both to the formation of a coherent higher education system and to national development. It will also be of benefit to students, parents, guidance counsellors, business and academia as a reference guide to the performance of Irish higher education.

Higher Education Authority publishes new system for measuring third-level institutes’ performance

Higher Education Authority publishes new system for measuring third-level institutes’ performance
The performance of each of Ireland’s third-level institutions can be compared in unprecedented detail with the introduction of a new performance-profiling system published by the Higher Education Authority.
While it effectively allows a form of “ranking” of Irish institutions, this is not the intent behind the system, according to the team that developed it.
“We wanted to support high-quality strategic planning,” said lead author Muiris O’Connor of the authority’s statistics unit. “We felt that the best way to achieve the appropriate balance between institutional autonomy and accountability was to focus on the transparency of performance throughout the third- level education system.”

Friday, 3 January 2014

International Comparative Performance of the UK Research Base – 2013 | SciVal

International Comparative Performance of the UK Research Base – 2013 | SciVal
The UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) commissioned Elsevier to assess the performance of the UK's research base compared with seven other research-intensive countries (Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US), three other fast growing nations (Brazil, Russia and India) and other international benchmarks. It tracks investment in, and performance of, the national research system in an international setting, combining a variety of indicators to present a multifaceted view of the UK’s comparative performance in research as well as the trends that may affect its future position.

First comprehensive global-impact project shows that water scarcity is a major worry

Water risk as world warms   (Nature,505,10–11 ())
 
Although many researchers had modelled various aspects of the global-warming elephant, there had been no comprehensive assessment of what warming will really mean for human societies and vital natural resources. But that changed last year when Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, and other leading climate-impact researchers launched the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project. This aims to produce a set of harmonized global-impact reports based on the same set of climate data, which will for the first time allow models to be directly compared. Last month it published its initial results in four reports in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1–4. These suggest that even modest climate change might drastically affect the living conditions of billions of people, whether through water scarcity, crop shortages or extremes of weather.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The Rhyme of History: Lessons of the Great War

The Brookings Essay
In a new Brookings Essay, eminent historian Margaret MacMillan compares the world today with the one that was shattered in 1914, with the start of World War I.

Not breaking news: many scientific studies are ultimately proved wrong!

Not breaking news: many scientific studies are ultimately proved wrong!
Most theories are eventually consigned to the rubbish heap, but this is scientific business as usual. 
Dr Sylvia McLain (who runs a biophysics research laboratory in Oxford) responds to John Ioannidis, professor of medicine at Stanford who recently published a report in PLOS Medicine entitled "Why most published research findings are false".