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Science Spin3 66

Science Spin Issue 66

In this issue of Science Spin; Family Science

a new section where Christine Campbell from Anyone 4 Science presents some projects to do at home, and in Dr How’s Science Wows Naomi Lavelle explains about DNA.

From Tablet to Tablet

Five and a half thousand years ago a Sumerian scribe used a clay tablet to record the allocation of beer, and now we are back to using code on tablets. At a museum for computers and communications based in Galway we learn that everything we have now has a connection to the past. At the museum we discover that school students in Galway were using cloud computing long before the term was invented, we see how fiction has become fact and we learn how women played an enormous role in developing the computer industry. The museum is open to all and well worth a visit.

Rocky attractions

A major cross-border initiative is highlighting the geological wonders of the Mournes and Slieve Gullion. After many troublesome years visitors are being welcomed back into an area of outstanding beauty shaped by a geologically violent past. History, archaeology and rocks are being blended so that visitors not just see, but gain an understanding of the landscape.

Well bred potatoes

Four centuries after they were introduced to Europe, potatoes have become one of the world’s leading crops. However, lack of genetic diversity meant that they had little resistance to disease, but new breeds, developed by Teagasc are overcoming these problems.

Quantum biology

Why are biological systems so efficient? Many of the processes that enable us to live cannot be explained satisfactorily by stick and ball chemistry. Migration in birds is hard to explain, and why does photosynthesis work so well. Quantum mechanics provide some of the answers.


Ireland’s most recognisable rock, yet, as Paddy Gaffikin explains, with the exception of a small exposure in Kerry, it only appears in the north east corner of Ireland. Formed in shallow seas by calcareous algae, so small that they can only be seen with the aid of a microscope.

Weird and wonderful

Sive Finlay introduces us to a colourful Australian dancer. The tiny peacock spider males have an irridescent tail flap which they wave while dancing to attract the female.

Ask a scientist

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Science on view

See our growing selection of videos on YouTube. Aine Hyland talks about the science curricula, Shiela Porter talks about SciFest, Jim Al Khalili talks about quantum biology, and Dr Aggeliki Georgiopolou talks about marine landslides.

Science Spin Articles

Is maths really the problem?

by Sean O Leary

Maths as taught in school lacks appeal because it is too far removed from everyday life.

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The first Hibernians

by Anthony King

Ireland's earliest settlers lived in wooden huts along the river Bann in Co Antrim and spent theirdays hunting in a rich landscape populated by such exotic creatures as lynx, bear and wolves - such as the one pictured here. Scientists have begun to better understand the lifestyles of these earliest setttlers, and the environment in which they lived.

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The Burren: Shaped by Geology

by Tom Kennedy

The history, culture, flora and fauna of the Burren have been shaped by its geology. Here we detail how geology has played such a vital role in making the Burren what it is today, against the background of moves to have the Burren region classified as an internationally recognised geopark.

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