Minister Brady Launches Report on Injuries in Ireland

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Ms Áine Brady, T. D., Minister for Older People and Health Promotion today (25 November, 2009) launched a new report entitled 'Injuries in Ireland'. Injuries or accidents are the fourth leading cause of death in Ireland after cancers, diseases of the circulatory system and respiratory diseases, with an estimated 1,500 fatalities a year. Tripping and falling were one of the main causes of injuries among adults, according to the report, with the home being the most common location of injury. The report, which was commissioned by the Department of Health and Children, is part of a series from data collected for 'SLÁN 2007: Survey of Lifestyle, Attitudes and Nutrition in Ireland'. The research came out of collaborative work by NUI Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Economic and Social Research Institute, and University College Cork. Key findings contained in the report include: Findings show that 9% of all adults and 43% of all school children reported one or more medically attended injuries in the previous 12 months. Injuries were more prevalent among men and boys, and among those in the age group 12-29 years. Of adults reporting an injury requiring medical treatment, 52% reported 3 or more days of lost activity. Activity loss due to injury was more common among those with lower income, unemployed and medical card holders. Among the adult population, the main locations where injuries occurred were in the home, at a sports facility and on the road. The main activities leading to injury were sports or physical activities, work-related injury and injury during work around the house. Among school children, the main locations where injuries occurred were in sport facilities, at home and in school, while the main activities leading to injury were sports or physical activity. Among the younger population, fall-related injuries were not likely to translate into hospitalisation and fatalities were very rare. Among the older population, fall-related injuries requiring hospitalisation were as common as self-reported fall-related injuries. Dr Michal Molcho of the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway was lead author on the report: "This report provides the most comprehensive information to date on injuries in Ireland. The findings indicate that injuries are more common in young people and in the elderly, and that more severe injuries are more prevalent among those less well off. The findings also indicate the main locations and activity leading to an injury providing us with important information as to where we should target prevention efforts". The full report is available on line at or -ends-

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NUI Galway Researchers Win Inaugural SFI Research Image Competition

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Professor Kevin Sullivan, Professor of Cell Biology, and Dr Lisa Prendergast, Postdoctoral Fellow at NUI Galway were recently crowned winners of the SFI Research Image Competition with their image – 'Troubled Cell Division'. This new competition offered Science Foundation Ireland-funded researchers the opportunity to submit digital images created during the course of their research. The winning image shows a dividing cell whose spindle has been disturbed by removing a single protein from the chromosome. The image was taken during research into what might cause a cancer cell to fail in cell division and die instead of multiplying. Professor Sullivan explained: "Our work is aimed at understanding how human cell division works. This knowledge can then be used in the discovery and validation of new drugs for cancer chemotherapy. The mechanism we're studying, the mitotic spindle in cell division, is already a proven target for effective chemotherapy drugs including Taxol and Vinblastine. The idea we're pursuing is that we can potentially lower the toxicity of spindle poisons or target them more specifically to cancer cells". Professor Sullivan's laboratory is in the Centre for Chromosome Biology within the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway. The Centre is a grouping of 11 independent research laboratories with over 80 researchers focused on understanding the functions of genetic material, and how this influences human diseases such as cancer, neurological and developmental disorders. Research in the Centre for Chromosome Biology is supported by funding bodies including Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board, IRCSET, the European Union and the Irish Cancer Society. For more information about the Centre for Chromosome Biology, please visit -Ends-

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NUI Galway Offers Another Event for Astronomy Enthusiasts

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The fourth in a series of public talks organised by NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy will focus on the dramatic stars known as Pulsars. The free event takes places at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 25 November, in Physics Room 220, Arts & Science Building, NUI Galway. Pulsars have been intensely studied for more than 40 years and ongoing research at NUI Galway is seeking to solve some of the many remaining mysteries that surround these stars. The death of massive stars, a phenomenon known as 'supernovae', brings into being the neutron stars that are Pulsars, but there is still much to be discovered about their properties. The lecture will be given by NUI Galway's Dr John Mc Donald who says: "Pulsars are one of the most fascinating stars in the universe. Although relatively small physically, they are like galactic lighthouses, emitting massive amounts of radiation. In an area the size of Galway, a neutron star can possess the equivalent mass of our entire Sun. All of this matter and energy is contained within truly immense electromagnetic and gravitational fields, which spin up to 650 times a second". During the talk, Dr Mc Donald will explain the origins of these stars, starting right from the birth of normal stars, through their violent death, to their stunning rebirth as some of the most extreme and enigmatic objects in the known Universe. His talk will also discuss what is known and yet to be discovered about Pulsars, and the research currently being undertaken at NUI Galway s Centre for Astronomy. The series of public talks co-incides with the International Year of Astronomy which takes place throughout 2009. More details of all the talks can be found on -ends-

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Did Darwin Solve it All? – Lecture to Celebrate Darwin Year

Monday, 16 November 2009

A public talk entitled 'Did Darwin Solve it all? – Evolution 150 years on' will be given by Professor Wallace Arthur, Professor of Zoology, at 7.30pm in the Martin Ryan Institute, NUI Galway on Tuesday, 24 November. It is widely known that 2009 is 'Darwin Year' and exactly 150 years ago, on 24 November, 1859 Darwin's masterpiece The Origin of Species was published. This book forever changed the way we look at the entire living world, including the human species. Professor Arthur explains: "There was heated debate immediately after the publication of Darwin's book. Then, over the next few years, that debate gradually subsided as the evolutionists won the day. But what is the situation now regarding the theory of evolution? Did Darwin really solve it all? Or are there major gaps in the theory?". One famous present-day evolutionist – the English biologist Richard Dawkins – thinks that Charles Darwin (together with Alfred Russel Wallace) did indeed solve it all. He remarks at the start of one of his books: "Our own existence once presented the greatest of all mysteries, but it is a mystery no longer because it is solved. Darwin and Wallace solved it, though we shall continue to add footnotes to their solution for a while yet". However, many biologists do not agree with Dawkins, and NUI Galway's Professor Wallace Arthur is one of them. In this lecture, Professor Arthur will explain why he feels that current research into evolution is doing much more than 'adding footnotes' to Darwin's work. The talk is open to the public and refreshments will be served. Those interested should contact Anne Quinn, Zoology, Martin Ryan Institute, NUI Galway at 091-492323. Ends-

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The Irish Times Editor to Speak at NUI Galway

Monday, 16 November 2009

Editor of The Irish Times, Geraldine Kennedy, will be the lead participant at a Discourse on the 'Challenges to Press Freedom in the 21st Century' at NUI Galway on Thursday, 26 November at 6-8 pm. Also speaking will be Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, and there will be ample opportunity for interactive discussion with the audience after the formal presentations. The event will be chaired by University President, Dr James J. Browne. Speaking in advance of the event, Professor Nicholas Canny, Director of the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies, NUI Galway remarked: "The Discourse will provide an interesting blend of the opinions of a working journalist and editor who has had practical experience of being brought before the courts to uphold principles of press freedom, with those of an expert on the kinds of challenges to press freedom that present themselves in non-western societies". The event is free and open to the public and will take place in the IT Lecture Theatre 250, NUI Galway. Ends-

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