Science Review 2012 – Top 100 science stories: Nos 75-71

30 Nov 2012

Scientists reveal 3D nerve mapping of the human brain

We continue our countdown of Ireland’s top science and innovation stories of 2012. It was the year Dublin became the European City of Science and major scientific breakthroughs occurred in every field.

During four days in July, international scientists, policy-makers and business leaders, as well as the general public, converged on the Euroscience Open Forum in Dublin, the highlight in a year full of science and innovation events, such as Science Week, Nanoweek, and Engineers Week.

Most notable during 2012, however, is the impact young people in Ireland have been making in innovation. James Whelton’s CoderDojo movement has gone international, student Paddy Mulcahy won the Irish leg of the 2012 James Dyson award, Mark Kelly and Eric Doyle, this year’s overall winners at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, also scooped another top award at the EUCYS, and teenager Joanne O’Riordan, who has no limbs, gave a speech to global leaders at a United Nations conference for Girls in ICT Day on how technology has changed her life.

To celebrate a year that also included great research, discoveries and partnerships, has dedicated this month to the top 100 most popular science and innovation stories of 2012. Our countdown continues below.

Eamonn Sinnott, Dr Paul Hurley and Dr Kelin J. Kuhn

75 – Tyndall scientists win Intel awards for research efforts

Two researchers from Tyndall National Institute in Cork have been recognised by Intel in its first-ever Outstanding Researcher Awards. The duo are the only researchers outside of the US to glean the inaugural awards.

Tyndall’s Prof Jim Greer, who is head of electronics theory and graduate studies, and Dr Paul Hurley, senior staff researcher and head of high-k research, have been recognised by Intel in its 2012 Outstanding Researcher Awards.

Team quadSquad

74 – Microsoft Imagine Cup winner: Team quadSquad’s Enable Talk communication device

A device that allows deaf individuals to communicate verbally using custom-designed sensory gloves and a smartphone application to translate sign-language gestures into speech has taken top honours in the Software Design Competition at the 10th annual Microsoft Imagine Cup in Sydney, Australia.

Team quadSquad from the Ukraine is behind the device called Enable Talk. It has been one of the entries in the student technology competition that celebrates innovations that address the world’s problems.

Maciej Goszczycki

73 – 15-year-old CoderDojo ‘Coolest Project’ winner creates his own programming language (video)

Fifteen-year-old Maciej Goszczycki was the winner of the Coolest Project Awards held for the first time at Intel’s microprocessor manufacturing facility in Leixlip, Co Kildare. Goszczycki won the award for creating his own software language he calls ODA.

More than 150 people turned up at the event, at which CoderDojo members from all over Ireland demonstrated their projects to a team of judges led by CoderDojo co-founder and Internet Hero James Whelton.

Harry Moran

72 – How to build your own CoderDojo

James Whelton and Bill Liao’s CoderDojo movement is still young, but it has ignited a grassroots revolution that has seen kids and teens flock to its events to learn how to code for their lives. They say anyone can bring a Dojo to their community and here’s how.

The past year has been remarkable because of the fires of opportunity being kindled not by politicians, tech CEOs or new gadgets, but by some of the young kids in Ireland who are anxious to code and write their own software.

3D nerve mapping

71 – Scientists reveal 3D nerve mapping of the human brain

Neuroscientists who have been delving into the brain’s architecture say the nerves in the human brain comprise a 3D grid of criss-crossing fibres. Their findings have been published in Science.

The researchers behind the Human Connectome Project hail from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).