Thursday, 31 January 2008

EPA Climate Change Lecture

A World Transformed – The Consequences of Climate Change and Human Land Use

A free lecture will be given by Professor Wolfgang Lucht, Potsdam Institute, Germany.
Date: Tuesday 5th February 2008
Venue: The Round Room, The Mansion House, Dawson Street at 6.00pm

Related Links to EPA Lecture Series:,23599,en.html

Although the lectures are free please confirm your attendance by replying to Clara Clark at

Sciencebase blog

For the latest discussion around science and medical news look at

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Biotech & Pharma Resources

Browse through a list of free Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals magazines, white papers, downloads and podcasts to find the titles that best match your skills and interests; topics include chemicals, genetics, bioinformatics and genomics

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Friday, 25 January 2008

Science and History

Curious about who did what in the sciences on a particular day? Click on the link below for more information!

A Carbon revolution!

Click on the link below to read a brief Irish Times article about the production of multiple carbon sheets and how this innovation could transform electronics!

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Protein Zone

Need to keep up-to-date with new publications?

The Protein Zone is a new web portal devoted to recent publications in proteomics produced by Springer Verlag.

Key features:

* Free online access to three top journals

* No registration necessary

* Content rotates every two months. Bookmark to return for new updates.

Register for Springer's email services providing you with info on the latest books and journals in your field.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Black hole tips the scales

By Paul Rincon Science reporter, BBC News, Austin

Astronomers have weighed the biggest known black hole in the Universe. The monster celestial object is 18 billion times more massive than our own Sun, says a team from Finland - six times larger than the previous record.

The object, called OJ287, is orbited by a smaller black hole, which allowed its mass to be measured very accurately. The finding also enabled the researchers to test Einstein's theory of gravity for the first time in a strong gravitational field. Details of the finding were presented at the 211th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Austin, Texas. The binary black hole system powers a quasar - a compact halo of matter which radiates enormous amounts of energy. It emits a pulsing light signal, with two major pulses every 12 years. From this, astronomers were able to construct models to predict the arrival of the pulses.

For full details see

(Image from

Friday, 18 January 2008

'Pac-Man' molecule chews up uranium contamination

A MOLECULE that can bite a uranium-containing ion between its "jaws", not unlike the munching blob in the arcade game Pac-Man, could one day lead to a way to clean up groundwater contaminated with the toxic metal.
Uranium leaches into groundwater from natural deposits of its ore, depleted uranium munitions, nuclear facilities and the detritus of uranium mining. It occurs most commonly in the form of the water-soluble uranyl ion, (UO2)2+, in which the uranium atom is linked to two oxygen atoms by double bonds.
Allowing uranyl to react with other substances might change it into a different, insoluble ion, which can be filtered out. But uranium binds very strongly to oxygen - the bonds it forms are 25 per cent stronger than typical double bonds - making the uranyl ion very stable. Combined with its solubility, this makes dissolved uranium virtually impossible to remove. "It's a very problematic, persistent groundwater contaminant," says Polly Arnold, a chemist at the University of Edinburgh in the UK.
Enter Pac-Man. Arnold's colleague Jason Love had been working on improving catalysts for fuel cells using a large organic molecule known as a macrocycle, that can fold in half to form a structure like a pair of jaws. Love was using the gap between the jaws to capture a pair of cobalt ions, but Arnold realised that it was just the right size and shape to clamp onto a uranyl ion.

To read the full article go to or see issue 2639 of New Scientist magazine, 17 January 2008, page 24 in Kevin St Library.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Irish greenhouse gas emissions

Ireland’s Greenhouse Gas emissions fell by 0.8 per cent in 2006, as compared to 2005.

Figures released yesterday by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that, while Ireland’s Kyoto target in the period 2008-2012 is 62.84 million tonnes per annum, Ireland’s emissions in 2006 of 69.77 million tonnes were almost seven million tonnes above this limit.

The EPA compiles Ireland’s Greenhouse Gas emission estimates annually. The 2006 figures have been submitted to the European Commission and will remain provisional until March 2008. A summary report on the 2006 figures is now available at,23984,en.html.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

New Intute blog

The official Intute blog is offers a guide to the best of the Web for education and research. See

The blog is most relevant to staff in universities and colleges who are interested in the use of Internet resources in education and research.

Intute is run by a national network of academic subject, Internet and information specialists from UK universities, who will use this blog to post news, views and reviews about Intute services, but also about the use of Internet resources to support higher education and research.

Web of Science - new year, new look.

The new look Web of Science database is now available on The link now brings you directly to the WOS general search page and highlights the main user resources.

You can also explore high-impact journals with tools such as cited reference searching and Author Finder.
256 categories thoroughly cover the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Don't forget to customize your WOS if you're a frequent visitor and avail of the online training in multiple languages.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

It's a snap....

Applying a strong electric field to a nano-scale piece of magnetite yielded unexpected results, reports Dick Ahlstrom in today's Irish Times.

'An old dog is delivering surprising new tricks in a research collaboration involving Trinity College Dublin and Rice University in Texas. The "dog" in this case is magnetite, a substance known and used for thousands of years. But scientists have discovered unexpected characteristics that could lead to new kinds of inexpensive electronic devices.
The work combined a well-known material, magnetite, with the latest techniques in nano-scale production and delivered a completely unexpected result, explains Trinity's Prof Igor Shvets, who led the Dublin team. '

The research was published last month in the online version of the Nature Materials journal and will be in next month's print edition. For more details on this research see