Irish Science Heroes – William King


Video by Claire Riordan, Scientific Engagement Associate at CÚRAM .

In the latest of our series of Research Videos, Dr. John Murray (Lecturer in Palaeontology in the Discipline of Earth & Ocean Sciences) and Prof. Heinz Peter Nasheuer (Professor of Biochemistry) introduce the groundbreaking work of a true Irish Science Hero, William King.

In 1849, William King joined Queen’s College Galway (now NUI Galway) as its first Professor of Geology, publishing more than 70 papers and the establishment of a museum in his time there.

King and Paper
Prof. William King and his groundbreaking 1864 paper ‘The Reputed Fossil Man of The Neanderthal‘.

William King is best known however, as the first person to name a new extinct group of humans, Homo neanderthalensis, more commonly known as Neanderthals. His study of a  Continue reading “Irish Science Heroes – William King”

What is a Medical Device?

In the third of our series of Research Articles for 2015,  Claire Riordan, Science Engagement Officer with the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices in NUI Galway, writes about the history of medical devices and tells us about some of the exciting research being carried out at CÚRAM.

What is a Medical Device?

When you think of a medical device, what do you see? An inhaler? A stent? An artificial hip or a wound dressing?


Reza Estakhrian/Getty Images

Actually, one of the very first medical device inventions was the magnifying glass! It was designed in 1250 by Roger Bacon. It was the first convex lens designed for scientific purposes. In 1280, these lenses were used to correct farsightedness. Now, they are crucial in any surgical procedure.

Continue reading “What is a Medical Device?”

Exploring the Cell, by Dr. Danielle Hamilton

Next in our weekly series of articles, Dr. Danielle Hamilton, a Research Scientist with the Centre for Chromosome Biology, writes about her work “Exploring the Cell” and how understanding how a cell repairs damage to its DNA may lead to the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Diagram of the internal structures of the cell. (Image credit:
Diagram of the internal structures of the cell. (Image credit:

Every living creature is made up of one or more cells, and humans are no exception. These microscopic structures are the building blocks of our bodies and each is programmed to perform a specific function. Cells of the same type are often found clustered together and communicate with each other to form the tissues and organs that make up a functioning organism. Continue reading “Exploring the Cell, by Dr. Danielle Hamilton”