Science Review 2012 – Top 100 science stories: Nos 70-66

3 Dec 2012

Google Sketchup Pro

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.

wireless sleep-monitoring device

70 – New sleep-monitoring device uses Irish med tech

Technology developed at NovaUCD by BiancaMed, a division of the California company ResMed, is being used in a new wireless sleep-monitoring device that Omron Healthcare launched in the Japanese marketplace.

BiancaMed itself was originally established by Dr Philip de Chazal, Dr Conor Hanley and Prof Conor Heneghan to commercialise research undertaken in UCD’s School of Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering.

Michael Fitzgerald

69 – Health Innovation Hub launches to help healthcare companies create solutions faster

A new healthcare project has launched in Cork to bring together six healthcare companies with the health system and academia in order to help such companies move faster on developing products and services.

Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, and its Minister for Health Dr James Reilly, TD, launched the new Health Innovation Hub project at University College Cork.

Topographic map of the Arctic Ocean

68 – Scientists detect large build-up of water in the Arctic Ocean

Scientists have discovered that a large dome of water has been building up in the western Arctic Ocean over the past 15 years. And if a change in wind direction occurs, this could cause the water to spill into the north Atlantic, potentially cooling Europe as a result, according to the European Space Agency (ESA).

Scientists from the Centre for Polar Observation at University College London and at the UK’s National Oceanography Centre used satellites provided by the ESA for their research. Their findings have been published in Nature Geoscience.

Science: It's a girl thing

67 – European Commission hides controversial ‘Science: It’s a Girl Thing!’ video

Following a severe public backlash, the European Commission has been forced to recall the ‘Science: It’s a Girl Thing!’ promotional video it had released as part of its campaign to encourage more teenage girls to pursue a career in science.

The furore started after the European Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn revealed a new three-year science campaign for the 27 EU member states.

Google Sketchup Pro

66 – Galway Education Centre to give schools Google Sketchup Pro

The Galway Education Centre has signed a contract with Google to distribute 3D modelling application Google Sketchup Pro for free to all interested Irish primary and secondary schools.

The application lets students create 3D models from scratch or by using existing data. They can import drawings, photos, aerial images and other data and can then use the application’s tools to create 3D models.

It can be used to design objects ranging from kitchen utensils to buildings. Students and teachers can also share their projects, resources and images with others online.