Category Archives: WT

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

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.

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

Diagnosis Zone Report – November 2017

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The Diagnosis Zone was a themed Zone supported by Wellcome. Shannon, the winner of this Zone, is a PhD student researching fungal pathogens, Matthew is a biomedical engineering student researching the diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases and Katie is a geneticist at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. James is working to understand why people get breast cancer and Hugh works with nanoparticle cell interactions at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

This Zone was busy and on topic, with twenty Live Chats across the two weeks and the highest number of students logged in out of the four Zones in November’s event. All the scientists were great at engaging with the students within both Live Chats and Ask, and students were interested in both their work and personal lives.

Posted on December 15, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, WT, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Food Zone Report – November 2017

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The Food Zone was a themed Zone specifically for primary schools, and supported by Wellcome. Yvonne is a PhD student researching whether grass-fed beef is healthier than grain-fed beef, Yannis is a chemist researching how food lipids can affect cardiovascular diseases and Gonzalo works as a meat scientist at Teagasc. Golnaz is trying to find out the source of pollution in water drains at dairy farms, in order to prevent further pollution, Elaine is researching whether milk proteins can help people, in particular those with diabetes, control their blood sugar levels and Ciara, the winner of the Food Zone, is studying the gut microbes of athletes.

The Food Zone was the busiest Zone in this event, with the highest amount of votes and questions in Ask. Students engaged brilliantly with the theme and could relate to the work of the scientists through conversations about their favourite foods and nutrition. They showed a good awareness of healthy eating, as well as issues around farming and agriculture, with well thought out questions in both Ask and the Live Chats.

Posted on December 15, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, WT, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Oxygen Zone Report – November 2016

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This was a general science zone funded by Wellcome, and included five scientists working in a variety of areas. Roisin is a PhD student making tiny amounts of illegal drugs in order to track how criminals are making them, Michel studies the behaviour of soft solids like skin and the brain to find out things like how to avoid scarring when we get cut, and Mark (the winner of this zone) is a physics PhD student researching what happens when things like black holes get too close to stars. Karen is a haematologist who tests people’s blood after it gets taken at the doctors and Gavin is a PhD student researching the different interactions that happen between nanoparticles and the environment.
All of the scientists in this zone were really active in both ASK and the live chats and were fun and interesting when engaging with the students.  This zone had the highest number of answers out of all the zones in this event, with 779 given by all the scientists in the ASK section.

Posted on December 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, WT, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Mutation Zone Report – November 2016

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The Mutation Zone was a themed zone funded by Wellcome. Thomas is responsible for regulating the use of GMOs in laboratories and for clinical trials, Sinead is an analytical science lecturer and cancer researcher and Sebastian, who was the winner in this zone, is a researcher trying to find out why some animals can heal and regrow their bodies after an injury better than we can. Monica works in a teaching hospital working out which bacteria or virus has caused an infection and Emma is a PhD student looking at whether someone with tuberculosis has developed mutations making them immune to treatment.

Much of the zone was on topic with students asking lots of thoughtful questions, and scientists providing detailed answers. There was a lower percentage of active students than in the other zones in this event, as some students were unable to take part due to the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland strike action at their schools during the first week of the event.

Posted on December 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, WT, Zone Reports | Leave a comment