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: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/science-behind/genetics-overview/)
Diagram of the internal structures of the cell. (Image credit: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/science-behind/genetics-overview/)

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”

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Medicines, by Dr. Enda O’Connell

In the ninth of our weekly series of articles, I have taken off my ReelLIFE SCIENCE hat and put on my Scientist hat.  Or labcoat, gloves and goggles, to be more precise…  As a Senior Technical Officer in NUI Galway, I support a range of research projects across the campus, from Cancer Biology and Stem Cell Research to Chemistry and Biomaterials.  In this article, I write about ‘Medicines’ and how researchers at NUI Galway are looking for new uses for old drugs.

The History of Medicines

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Chinese Emperor Shennong tasting plants to test their qualities on himself (image from Wikipedia)

The word ‘medicine’ originally comes from the Latin phrase ‘ars medicina’, which translates as the ‘art of healing’, while the Oxford English Dictionary defines medicine (n) as ‘a substance or preparation used in the treatment of illness; a drug’. The earliest medicines were plant extracts, animal parts and minerals, and their use in healing rituals overseen by medicine men and shamans, often involved much more art than science.  Continue reading “Medicines, by Dr. Enda O’Connell”

Irish Scientific Achievements

Ireland: you may have read works by some of our writers. Perhaps you’ve seen some of our dancers perform. Maybe you’ve grown up listening to some of our bands. But do you know our scientists?

This short film on Irish scientific achievements was produced by Dervalomedia on behalf of the Irish staff of the EU Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy. It was first shown at the JRC open day on May 4th, 2013 which was attended by Máire Geoghegan Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science.

The film is based on “The Little Book of Irish Science” produced by Science Foundation Ireland. Images contained in the book were produced by Duffy Design in Dublin. Music is by Ronan Hardiman.

The NUI Galway led REDDSTAR project features from 4.10 in the video. The REDDSTAR project aims to use adult stem cell to treat diabetes and its associated complications and more details can be found here:  http://www.reddstar.eu/