Category Archives: 2018

Neon Zone Report – November 2018

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The Neon Zone was a general zone supported by Wellcome and involved five scientists:

  • Tiernan Henry is researching how water and the Earth interact, particularly the water just below the Earth’s surface
  • Sonia Lenehan, the zone winner, studies how the brain grows in the first two years of life
  • Mossy Kelly studies how students learn physics and is also a lecturer at the University of Hull
  • Maureen Williams studies the parasites that controls the behaviour of their hosts; fish, corals and other animals
  • Bernard Leddy is a drug information pharmacist and consultant in toxicology, writing reports on drugs for lawyers

This zone was very busy in ASK with over 700 questions sent to scientists, who between them gave over 1,000 answers. Sonia and Maureen were the most active scientists, making up 90% of all chat lines between them.

Posted on January 14, 2019 modamy in 2018, WT, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Smart Data Zone Report – November 2018

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The Smart Data Zone was a themed zone supported by Science Foundation Ireland and involved five scientists:

  • Sheila Castilho, the winner of the zone, is a postdoctoral researcher, teaching computers how to translate
  • Piyush Arora is also a postdoctoral researcher, trying to make learning and searching through the internet more convenient and easy
  • Natalia Resende is looking at translation systems such as Google translate and analysis data to discover ways in which they can be improved
  • Gary Munnelly teaches computers how to read books and other text-based resources to help historians study the past
  • Dimitar Shterionov is a postdoctoral researcher at ADAPT Centre working on machine translation between different languages

Students in this zone showed a general interest in the zone’s theme, asking questions about data but also discussing more widely computers, languages and coding. Nearly a third of the questions put to scientists in ASK concerned careers and education.

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New Materials Zone Report – November 2018

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The New Materials Zone was a themed zone supported by Science Foundation Ireland and involved six scientists:

  • Triona Kennedy works for Stryker, a 3D-printing factory making hips, knees and parts of the spine
  • Simone Iadanza designs and build small structures that trap or reflect light so they can work as small lasers
  • Kieran Joyce is making new materials that can be used in spinal surgery for people with lower back pain
  • Julia Savioli is a computational chemist who uses simulations to understand the behaviour and chemistry of different materials
  • The zone winner, Hugh Manning, researches nanomaterials, particularly nanowires to conduct electricity for display screens and touch screens
  • Emily Growney Kalaf is a biomedical engineer working on nanowires that an act like neurons to understand neurogenic and neuropathic pain

Students in this zone were particularly interested in finding out what it was like being a scientist, and over 40% of the questions in ASK were on careers and/or education topics. Hugh, the zone winner, was very active in the live chats, with his chat lines making up nearly half of all those sent by the scientists over the activity.

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Genes Zone Report – November 2018

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The Genes Zone was a themed zone supported by Wellcome and involved six scientists:

  • Remsha Afzal studies how to control our immune cells to fight disease
  • Oliver Feeney is a researcher and lecturer in bioethics, interested in the ethical, legal and social implications of new biotechnologies
  • Lisa Dwane is researching breast cancer and searching for new ways to treat this disease
  • Kieran Meade runs a research group at Teagasc aiming to study the immune system
  • Fiana Ní Ghrálaigh, the zone winner, is a PhD student aiming to understand how DNA makes our brains work differently
  • David O’Neill, who was unfortunately unable to take part, researches into how the DNA of different organisms can make an impact on water quality and wildlife conservation

Students in this zone showed an interest in the zone’s theme, asking the scientists about their research and more general biology and DNA questions. Nearly half of all questions put to the scientists in ASK were about science topics, mostly human biology. One scientist, Remsha, was very active in ASK and CHAT, making up over 40% of all answers/chat lines.

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Environmental Care Zone Report – November 2018

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The Environmental Care Zone was a themed zone for primary schools, supported by Science Foundation Ireland.

  • William McCarthy is a PhD student researching how contamination gets into food and how we can stop that from happening
  • Roberto Ferrari studies how honeybees communicate with each other
  • Karen O’Neill works with freshwater pearl mussels aiming to understand the quality of the rivers they live in
  • Jasmine Headlam, this zone’s winner, studies jellyfish venom and uses computers to identify the different components
  • Chinna Devarapu builds circuits for light to find bugs in water

This was the busiest zone in November’s I’m a Scientist Ireland, with over 2,000 questions sent to the scientists in ASK. More students joined the Environmental Care Zone evening live chat than any other zone, across all I’m a Scientist zones this November.

Posted on January 14, 2019 modamy in 2018, SFI, Zone Reports | Leave a comment