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RTÉ Environment Correspondent Launches NUI Galway's Green Week
Monday, 1 February 2010
NUI Galway's Green Week was launched today (Monday, 1 February) at a talk by RTÉ's Environment Correspondent, Paul Cunningham on 'Copenhagen and Beyond'. Now in its third year, Green Week will take place on campus from 1-7 February. The Green Week programme features many environmental themed events such as Ecolympics, Leave your Car at Home Day and Wear Green Day. At the 'Eco Fair', over 40 stands will showcase renewable technologies, volunteering opportunities, green electricity, recycling, eco-gadgets, environmental campaigns and organic food. The 'Sustainable Transport Fair' will showcase means of transport with low impact on the environment and will have a selection of silent electric and city bikes, and scooters available to test-ride. Other highlights during Green Week will include workshops on growing and cooking your own vegetables, repairing old clothes, and how to make your home more energy efficient. Environmental themed films will be shown and talks on a variety of topics from energy efficiency to human rights and sustainability will take place. The NUI Galway Literary and Debating Society will also hold a debate on the future of Nuclear Power in Ireland. For those interested in cycling to work, a free safe-cycling talk will be given by Galway Cycling Campaign and a training session will be provided by the West Coast Wheelers Cycling Club. WEEE Ireland (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) will also be on campus to accept electrical and electronic household waste for recycling. A number of new initiatives will be launched during the week including a computer reuse initiative in partnership with Camara – a volunteer organisation dedicated to educating communities in Africa. Sinéad Higgins, Environmental Manager at NUI Galway, said: "NUI Galway's Green Week is the ideal time for members of the public and our 19,000 students and staff to make one small change and play a part in developing a greener community. The programme is packed with events, ideas and competitions to suit everyone". NUI Galway is committed to playing a role in helping Ireland to reduce carbon emissions and in recent years has invested greatly in improving its environmental performance. In 2009, NUI Galway reduced its carbon emissions from energy consumption by almost 5% through investment in energy efficiency measures across campus. The University also increased recycling rates by 7% and substantially reduced waste production on campus. -ends-
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NUI Galway Lecture to Explore Biggest Explosions in the Universe
Monday, 1 February 2010
NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy will continue its series of public talks with the next lecture exploring the topic of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs). The free lecture will take place on Wednesday, 10 February, at 7.30pm in the McMunn Theatre, NUI Galway. The lecture, which will be delivered by NUI Galway's Dr Gregg Hallinan, will focus on the mysterious GRBs, which are flashes of gamma rays associated with extremely energetic explosions in distant galaxies. Although most GRBs take place in the far reaches of the universe, they still result in the detection of large amounts of energy on earth. It has been hypothesised that a close GRB, originating in our own Milky Way galaxy, could have previously caused a mass extinction on Earth. GRBs occur approximately once per day, when a bright flash of deadly gamma radiation is detected coming from a wholly random direction in the sky. Until recently GRBs were one of the biggest mysteries in astronomy. When initially detected in the late 1960s, the United States suspected that the USSR might be attempting to conduct secret nuclear tests on the far side of the moon. However, it was soon established that these bursts were coming from outer space, although it took three decades of active research to find out what actually caused these bright flashes in the sky. Speaking about the lecture, Dr Hallinan said: "We now know that most GRBs signal the biggest explosions in the universe since the Big Bang. These explosions are a million trillion times as bright as the Sun, and are caused when the very largest stars run out of fuel and are torn apart by their own gravity, resulting in the formation of a black hole. During the lecture I will explain the history of how GRBs were discovered and the quest to understand them, as well as their importance in astronomy and their potential threat to humanity". More details about this lecture series can be found on http://astro.nuigalway.ie/outreach.php. -Ends-
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First Comprehensive Book in Emerging Field of Microbial Glycobiology Launched
Monday, 1 February 2010
NUI Galway Launches First Comprehensive Book in Emerging Field of Microbial Glycobiology The first comprehensive book to be published in the emerging field of microbial glycobiology has been launched at NUI Galway. Microbial Glycobiology – Structures, Relevance and Applications presents information on sugars (carbohydrates) influencing the biology of microorganisms, what is termed microbial glycobiology. Microbial glycobiology represents a multidisciplinary and emerging area with implications for a range of basic and applied research fields, as well as having industrial, medical and biotechnological implications. The importance of the substitution of microbial proteins by sugars (glycosylation) and the role played by glycosylated molecules in disease development, immune recognition and environmental processes has become well-established in recent years. The new book, with Professor Anthony Moran, School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway as Editor-in-Chief, runs to over 1,000 pages, with 50 chapters by 100 contributors from Europe, North America, Japan and Australia. The volume also boasts a panel of international editors from the field, including: Professor Otto Holst, Leibniz Centre for Medicine and Biosciences, Germany; Professor Patrick Brennan, Colorado State University, USA; and Professor Mark von Itzstein, Griffith University, Australia. At the launch, Professor Moran noted that the book comes at an important time as glycobiology is having significant impact upon our understanding of microbes, their control and exploitation. He said: "Industrially, major developments in vaccine design, drug discovery and diagnostics are being made based on microbial glycobiology, and technologically the field is expanding our understanding, detection and therapy of various infectious agents". He added: "This is a very vibrant area of research and is an expanding area of technology with many potential ramifications for industrial and medical developments. The subject area exhibits extensive growth because of the biomedical, biotherapeutic, diagnostic and biotechnological applications which have fuelled research and industrial interest". Ireland has already established a strong footing in the burgeoning field of glycoscience. NUI Galway is home to the Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster (AGRC) of which Professor Moran is a member. A collaboration of research institutions and industry partners, the AGRC was established in 2009 with a significant grant from Government through Science Foundation Ireland, and is aiding in the discovery of novel diagnostics, therapeutics and nutraceuticals. "There is strong expertise in Ireland in this area, and the publication of this new book will further advance that connection on the international research stage. With Microbial Glycobiology, our aim is to provide a useful introduction to the subject for new researchers, as well as an invaluable reference for experienced ones," observed Professor Moran. Microbial Glycobiology is published by Academic Press, for more information see http://www.elsevierdirect.com -ends-
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Minister Brady Launches WHO Centre at NUI Galway
Friday, 29 January 2010
Ms Áine Brady, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for Older People and Health Promotion, today launched the establishment of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion Research at NUI Galway. The work of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is supported by a global network of collaborating centres, with the centre at NUI Galway one of only three in Ireland, and one of only 26 centres around the world dedicated to Health Promotion. The designation comes as a result of the important role the University's Health Promotion Research Centre has played over the past 20 years in health promotion education and research to support national policies and development. The Centre at NUI Galway is the only one of its kind in Ireland and has an active multidisciplinary research programme of work supported by an experienced team of some 30 staff. "I am very pleased to launch this WHO Collaborating Centre at NUI Galway. The Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway plays an important role in providing the research and knowledge base for the development of national policy and best practice on promoting the health of the population. I am confident that the Centre will continue to make a very valuable contribution to the work of WHO in health promotion and public health at both national and global levels", said Minister Brady. Following today's announcemnt, the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway will collaborate with WHO on the effective production, dissemination and translation of health promotion research. This will support the development of effective practice and policy at national, European and global levels. The Centre will focus on supporting evidence-based practice and policy in a number of areas including; research on promoting youth health in schools, the health of staff in the workplace, and advancing the implementation and evaluation of health promotion interventions including those that target improved mental health and social wellbeing. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "This is a tremendous achievement and is an important recognition of the international standing and quality of the research produced at the Health Promotion Research Centre in NUI Galway. The designation of the Health Promotion Research Centre as a WHO Collaborating Centre highlights our international leadership in this field". The Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway is officially designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre for an initial period of four years, led by Professor Margaret Barry. who commented: "Health promotion is proven to have a wide range of health and social benefits and our work over the last 20 years and been focussed on informing policy decisions and best practice in this area. We look forward to working with our colleagues at WHO and our national and international partners on the advancement of research for the effective promotion of population health and wellbeing". -ends-
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Digital Camera Technology Expert Honoured by Prestigious US-based Institute
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Dr Peter Corcoran of NUI Galway is the only engineer based in Ireland to be elected Fellow of the prestigious US-based Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) in the 2010 listing. Dr Corcoran is being recognised for his 'contributions to digital camera technologies' alongside 308 other engineering experts from around the world. Dr Corcoran's elevation to Fellow brings to 10 the number of Irish-based researchers who have been recognised by the IEEE. That number includes Dr Corcoran's colleague Professor Ger Hurley from NUI Galway who was recognised in 2006 for his work in the field of power electronics. Fellowship of the IEEE is conferred only by invitation of the Board of Directors upon persons of outstanding qualifications and experience who have contributed significantly to society. A native of Dublin, Dr Corcoran has made significant contributions to digital camera technology both through his academic publications and through a technology company, FotoNation, which he co-founded with Eran Steinberg and Petronel Bigioi. FotoNation became the market leader in automated red-eye removal and continues to develop and refine a range of OEM technologies for digital cameras. These technologies are used in more than 100 million digital cameras worldwide. Dr Corcoran was also a major contributor to a range of face-tracking and face-analysis techniques pioneered for digital cameras and cameraphones by FotoNation in the period 2003-2008. Again, these technologies have greatly enhanced today s consumer digital cameras enabling better quality images to be achieved in low-cost consumer products. Dr Corcoran s research team from NUI Galway formed the original engineering team of the start-up company that became FotoNation. Almost all of these engineers are still working with the company today. According to the IEEE: "The ability of a small, Galway based, engineering company to compete with large multinational corporations in the development of leading edge image processing algorithms is due in no small part to Dr Corcoran s technical vision and knowledge of embedded systems and image processing techniques". More recently, Dr Corcoran's research has explored methods for the encoding of digital content using personal biometric features. This approach offers a potential solution to the growing problems of piracy and illegal distribution of digital content such as music and movies. Dr Corcoran added: "The new challenge for electronic engineers such as myself now lies in the area of biometric features. Within a matter of years we can hope to have consumer devices that will "know" their owners. These new "smart" devices should solve many of the problems we have today with digital copyright and the piracy of movies and music". -ends-
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