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Conference on neurodegenerative diseases hailed a success
Tuesday, 2 December 2014
A major conference on neurodegenerative diseases in Galway last week has been hailed a huge success by organisers. This was the first time the Annual Meeting of the Network of European Central Nervous System Transplantation & Restoration (NECTAR) was held in Ireland. NECTAR saw researchers gather to discuss the latest developments in cell and gene therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. One of the highlights of the conference was a talk by Sheila Roy, who is undergoing an experimental gene therapy treatment for Parkinson’s disease. She first started the treatment in 2011, as part of a trial for ProSavin, a viral gene therapy manufactured by Oxford BioMedica. Sheila Roy has seen some progressive improvements since she volunteered for the radical treatment, and she has been able to reduce her medication by 50 per cent. The Chair of the local organising committee is Dr Eilís Dowd, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology and Therapeutics at NUI Galway, and a member of the University’s NCBES Galway Neuroscience Centre. Speaking about the conference, she said: “Sheila Roy gave a moving depiction of what life is like with Parkinson’s disease, and we are so thankful to her for sharing it with us. Her contribution rounded off a truly successful event.” The major remit of the 2014 NECTAR conference was to bring together scientists, clinicians, patient advocates and industry partners from across Europe and the international community to share the latest research in repairing the damage to the central nervous system as a result of degenerative diseases. At the conference, Dr Dowd was elected as President of NECTAR, an organisation which was founded more than 20 years ago: “Neurodegenerative diseases are currently treated using drugs that neither address the underlying causes of disease nor prevent neurodegeneration. They simply treat the symptoms of the disease. Cell and gene therapies aim to treat the disease itself and try to reprogramme the body’s mechanism to protect or even repair the brain. The science is moving rapidly, and networks such as NECTAR are facilitating the sharing of information among researchers in the field. However, we are still quite a way off any potential cure, but conferences like this renew our determination to succeed.” Eighteen international experts from across Europe, Australia and Canada spoke at the meeting. These included major international scientific speakers such as Professor Colin Masters, University of Melbourne, Australia and Professor Anders Björklund, Lund University, Sweden, as well as policy makers such as Dr Mary Baker, Past President of the European Brain Council, patient advocates, experts in clinical trial design and industrial speakers. In addition to the invited speakers, there were also several “data-blitz” sessions of short oral communications delivered by Irish and international researchers. PhD students and post-doctoral researchers played a significant role at the conference, adding to the environment of vibrancy and collaboration that lies at the heart of NECTAR. Neuroscience research and teaching are very vibrant at NUI Galway, and the University’s Galway Neuroscience Centre is proud to support both the NECTAR and CNS2014 meetings. The conference organisers gratefully acknowledged the support they have received from several funding agencies including the Campaign for Alzheimer’s Research in Europe, Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and Fáilte Ireland. More information on the conference can be found at (http://www.nectar-eu.net/) Ends
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NUI Galway Graduate Nominated for ANNIE International Award
Monday, 8 December 2014
A graduate from NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media, Will Collins has been nominated for an ANNIE Award. Now in its 42nd year, the Annie Awards are awarded by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, and recognise the year’s best in the field of animation and is animation's highest honour. Will, originally from Kanturk, Co. Cork, graduated with a Masters in Screenwriting in 2006. The animation, Song of the Sea, has been nominated in the Best Animated Feature and is one of eight films nominated. Produced by Cartoon Saloon which is based in Kilkenny, Song of the Sea has also been nominated in Best Character Development category. “The Huston School of Film and Digital Media is absolutely delighted with the seven ANNIE nominations (the Oscars for animated films) for Song of the Sea and in particular the nomination of our MA Screenwriting graduate Will Collins who wrote the screenplay. To be in the same category as blockbusters like The Lego Movie, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, The Boxtrolls and How to Train Your Dragon 2 is an incredible achievement for an independently produced Irish animation feature and we send our congratulations to all involved” said Tony Tracy, Lecturer with NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media. This week Galway has awarded the first Irish City of Film designation from UNESCO, one of only five cities around the world to hold the title. Over 50 organisations were involved in the Galway bid including NUI Galway. Dr Pat Collins and Dr Jenny Dagg from the University’s Whitaker Institute prepared background data for the bid, while the Huston School of Film and Digital Media were involved through the Audio Visual Forum for the West. The awards ceremony will take place in Los Angeles in January 2015. -Ends-
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NUI Galway to sign agreement with leading Chinese university during President Higgins’ State Visit
Tuesday, 9 December 2014
Agreement with Tsinghua University builds on long-standing tradition of educational and research exchange, and highlights alumni connections NUI Galway will sign an agreement on Tuesday, 9 December, with Tsinghua University in China to collaborate on both education and research activities. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will be witnessed by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and President of China, Xi Jinping, in The Great Hall of the People immediately prior to the State Banquet to mark the visit. Both national Presidents have links to the universities as President Higgins is an alumnus of NUI Galway, while President Xi graduated from Tsinghua University. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, and Ms Chen Xu, Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council, will sign the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their respective universities at 9am GMT (5pm Beijing time) on Tuesday. The agreement will feature: joint research in the fields of mutual interest to both universities; exchange of faculty members and researchers; exchange of students; joint organisation of seminars and academic meetings; exchange of materials in education; and research, publications and academic information. Science and engineering research and teaching is a particular strength for both universities. For the academic year 2015/16, a plan for undergraduate engineering student exchange and increased post-graduate mobility has been agreed. The agreement follows on from existing close ties between the universities. In research, a significant three-year EU project on cancer biomarkers led by NUI Galway, with Tsinghua University as a partner, has just come to completion. Also in research, 27 Tsinghua graduates have come to NUI Galway to pursue postgraduate degrees over the last two decades. In addition, several senior academic positions at Tsinghua University are held by NUI Galway graduates, and Tsinghua University alumni teach at NUI Galway. NUI Galway’s President Browne, has supervised many Tsinghua University graduates who have come to NUI Galway as PhD and masters students in the area of industrial engineering. Commenting on the agreement he said: “This is a historic agreement, which builds on a long tradition of educational exchange between NUI Galway and Tsinghua University, particularly in the area of Engineering. With this signing we look forward to deepening our collaboration, resulting in great student mobility between the two universities at under-graduate and post-graduate levels, as well as building new partnerships on a range of research fronts. It is especially fitting that this agreement is signed in the presence of the national Presidents, both of whom are alumni of the respective universities.” The signing will take place during the State Visit of President Michael D. Higgins to China. This is the first State Visit since 2003. Accompanying the President on this three city visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, will be the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, T.D. and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, T.D. The visit will aim to deepen the political, cultural, business, scientific and educational relationships between the two countries. The President will be accompanied by Sabina Higgins. Dr Jim Browne is travelling as part of the delegation on the State Visit, following the invitation from Enterprise Ireland to the International Office of the Irish universities. He will also be accompanied by colleague, Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs. NUI Galway has a very strong Alumni Group in Beijing, made up of alumni and member of the Irish expat community.
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NUI Galway signs agreement with leading Chinese university during President Higgins’ State Visit
Wednesday, 10 December 2014
NUI Galway signed an agreement on Tuesday, 9 December, with Tsinghua University in China, to collaborate on both education and research activities. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was witnessed by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and President of China, Xi Jinping, in The Great Hall of the People in Beijing, immediately prior to the State Banquet to mark the visit. Both national Presidents have links to the universities as President Higgins is an alumnus of NUI Galway, while President Xi graduated from Tsinghua University. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, and Ms Chen Xu, Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council, signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their respective universities. The agreement features: joint research in the fields of mutual interest to both universities; exchange of faculty members and researchers; exchange of students; joint organisation of seminars and academic meetings; exchange of materials in education; and research, publications and academic information. Science and engineering research and teaching is a particular strength for both universities. For the academic year 2015/16, a plan for undergraduate engineering student exchange and increased post-graduate mobility has been agreed. The agreement follows on from existing close ties between the universities. In research, a significant three-year EU project on cancer biomarkers led by NUI Galway, with Tsinghua University as a partner, has just come to completion. Also in research, 27 Tsinghua graduates have come to NUI Galway to pursue postgraduate degrees over the last two decades. In addition, several senior academic positions at Tsinghua University are held by NUI Galway graduates, and Tsinghua University alumni teach at NUI Galway. NUI Galway’s President Browne, has supervised many Tsinghua University graduates who have come to NUI Galway as PhD and masters students in the area of industrial engineering. Commenting on the agreement he said: “This is a historic agreement, which builds on a long tradition of educational exchange between NUI Galway and Tsinghua University, particularly in the area of Engineering. With this signing we look forward to deepening our collaboration, resulting in great student mobility between the two universities at under-graduate and post-graduate levels, as well as building new partnerships on a range of research fronts. It is especially fitting that this agreement is signed in the presence of the national Presidents, both of whom are alumni of the respective universities.” The signing took place during the State Visit of President Michael D. Higgins to China. This is the first State Visit since 2003. Accompanying the President on this three city visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, were the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, T.D. and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, T.D. The visit aims to deepen the political, cultural, business, scientific and educational relationships between the two countries. The President was be accompanied by Sabina Higgins. Dr Jim Browne travelled as part of the delegation on the State Visit, following the invitation from Enterprise Ireland to the International Office of the Irish universities. He was accompanied by colleague, Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs. NUI Galway has a very strong Alumni Group in Beijing, made up of alumni and member of the Irish expat community. Comhaontú sínithe ag OÉ Gaillimh le ceann de phríomh-ollscoileanna na Síne le linn Chuairt Stáit an Uachtaráin Uí Uiginn. Shínigh OÉ Gaillimh comhaontú inniu, Dé Máirt, an 9 Nollaig, le hOllscoil Tsinghua sa tSín ar mhaithe le comhoibriú oideachais agus taighde idir an dá institiúid. Bhí Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUiginn, agus Uachtarán na Síne, Xi Jinping, ina bhfinnéithe ar an síniú, a rinneadh i Halla Mór an Phobail i mBéising, díreach roimh an bhFéasta Stáit in onóir na cuairte. Tá baint ag chaon Uachtarán náisiúnta leis na hollscoileanna – alumnus de chuid OÉ Gaillimh é an tUachtarán Ó hUiginn agus is céimí de chuid Ollscoil Tsinghua é an tUachtarán Xi. Shínigh an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, agus Chen Xu, Cathaoirleach Chomhairle Ollscoil Tsinghua, an Meamram Comhthuisceana thar ceann a n-ollscoile féin. Sonraítear sa chomhaontú: taighde i bpáirt i réimsí inspéise ag an dá ollscoil; malartú comhaltaí foirne acadúla agus taighdeoirí; malartú mac léinn; comhreáchtáil seimineár agus cruinnithe acadúla; malartú ábhar oideachais; agus taighde, foilseacháin agus eolas acadúil. Tá taighde agus teagasc san eolaíocht agus san innealtóireacht thar a bheith láidir sa dá ollscoil. Don bhliain acadúil 2015/16, táthar tar éis aontú ar mhalartú mac léinn bunchéime innealtóireachta agus ar shoghluaisteacht mhéadaithe i gcás mic léinn iarchéime. Eascraíonn an comhaontú as comhoibriú dlúth atá ar bun cheana féin idir an dá ollscoil. I gcúrsaí taighde, cuireadh bailchríoch le deireanas ar thionscadal trí bliana AE i dtaobh bithchomharthaí ailse; OÉ Gaillimh a bhí ina ceanneagraíocht ar an tionscadal agus Ollscoil Tsinghua ina comhpháirtí aici. Tá 27 céimí ó Tsinghua tagtha go OÉ Gaillimh le fiche bliain anuas agus iad ag tabhairt faoi chláir iarchéime anseo. Lena chois sin, tá roinnt poist shinsearacha acadúla in Ollscoil Tsinghua ag céimithe de chuid OÉ Gaillimh, agus tá alumni de chuid Ollscoil Tsinghua ag teagasc in OÉ Gaillimh. I gcaitheamh na mblianta, stiúir an tUachtarán Browne roinnt mhaith céimithe ó Ollscoil Tsinghua a tháinig go OÉ Gaillimh mar mhic léinn PhD agus mháistreachta san innealtóireacht thionsclaíoch. Ag labhairt dó faoin gcomhaontú, dúirt sé: “Comhaontú stairiúil é seo, agus cuireann sé leis an traidisiún fada malartuithe oideachais idir OÉ Gaillimh agus Ollscoil Tsinghua, i réimse na hInnealtóireachta go mór mór. Agus an comhaontú seo á shíniú againn, táimid ag súil go mór leis an gcomhoibriú eadrainn a neartú tuilleadh ionas go mbeidh an-deis ag mic léinn bhunchéime agus iarchéime an dá ollscoil cuairt a thabhairt ar institiúidí a chéile; táimid ag súil freisin go dtiocfaidh comhpháirtíochtaí nua chun cinn i réimsí éagsúla taighde. Tá sé thar a bheith feiliúnach go bhfuil an comhaontú seo á shíniú agus an dá Uachtarán náisiúnta i láthair – iad beirt ina gcéimithe de chuid na hollscoile atá ina dtír féin.” Síníodh an comhaontú le linn Chuairt Stáit an Uachtaráin Micheál D. Ó hUiginn ar an tSín. Is í seo an chéad Chuairt Stáit ón mbliain 2003. Thug an tUachtarán cuairt ar thrí chathair sa tSín – Béising, Shang-hai agus Hangzhou; ina chomhluadar bhí an tAire Airgeadais, Michael Noonan, T.D., agus an tAire Gnóthaí Eachtracha agus Trádála, Charlie Flanagan, T.D. Is é cuspóir na cuairte an ceangal idir an dá thír i gcúrsaí polaitíochta, cultúir, gnó, eolaíochta agus oideachais a neartú tuilleadh. Tá bean chéile an Uachtaráin, Sabina Higgins, ina chomhluadar ar an gCuairt Stáit. Chuaigh an Dr Jim Browne anonn mar chuid de thoscaireacht na Cuairte Stáit tar éis d'Oifig Idirnáisiúnta Ollscoileanna na hÉireann cuireadh a fháil ó Fhiontraíocht Éireann. Chuaigh a chomhghleacaí, an tOllamh Brian Hughes (an Déan Gnóthaí Idirnáisiúnta) ar an turas ina theannta. Tá Grúpa láidir Alumni ag OÉ Gaillimh i mBéising agus céimithe de chuid na hOllscoile agus cuid de phobal na hÉireann sa tSín gníomhach ann. -críoch-
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NUI Galway staff and alumni row in behind search for bone marrow match
Thursday, 11 December 2014
“This is a Christmas gift that will keep on giving” Staff and alumni of NUI Galway are getting behind a campaign to encourage people to consider donating bone marrow. The campaign is inspired by the story of Paul Giblin, an engineering graduate and champion rower for the University, who is battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Now 31 years-old, Paul was diagnosed in April 2012 and is currently undergoing his fourth regime of chemotherapy, having also had an autologous (own) stem-cell transplant and radiotherapy. His best, and possibly only chance to return to health, will be to find a match on the Global Registry, the pool from which all bone marrow donations are drawn. Friends are pulling together to spread awareness with a view to increasing the number of potential donors in Ireland on the Global Registry. “We are reaching out to family, friends and friends of friends. We are hoping to significantly increase the numbers signing up to become bone marrow donors, to give people in Paul’s situation a fighting chance”, explains Ruadhán Cooke, who is a lecturer in French at NUI Galway and actively involved in the rowing club. “This is a Christmas gift that will keep on giving and which some day you or a loved one may need and benefit from. The first step is to give a small sample of blood, it’s that simple, and it could be a gift that will someday save a life,” added Ruadhán Cooke. The Irish Blood Transfusion Service will run a dedicated Bone Marrow Recruitment Clinic on Monday,15 December in the Cumasu Centre, Racing Lodge, Doughiska Road, Galway. The clinic will take a small sample of blood to add to the database, and cross check for matches. Anyone interested in attending the clinic on Monday, or other clinics in future, should e-mail BoneMarrow@ibts.ie Paul is one of Ireland’s most decorated rowers, with 17 Irish Senior champion titles, as well as twice taking gold at Henley Royal Regatta. He was also a medalist at the World Under 23 Rowing Championships and World Student Games. In an impressive couple of seasons on the cycling circuit, he rode the 2010 Rás, and also competed at the World Para Cycling Championships as the sighted pilot in the tandem event. A qualified civil engineer, Paul retrained and now works as an Army officer, stationed at Dún Uí Mhaolaíosa in Galway. Last weekend he married his fiancé Cate. For more information on how you can help Paul and others like him visit http://marrowmatch.eu/ -ends-
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Participants wanted for this winter’s flu survey
Monday, 15 December 2014
flusurvey.ie will track the spread of flu across Ireland and provide useful real-time data Irish people are being asked to volunteer information about their health this winter at flusurvey.ie. Now in its second year, the website is a collaboration between NUI Galway and the HSE - Health Protection Surveillance Centre. Volunteers are asked to register with the site, and log any flu symptoms if and when they develop. The website asks participants about their overall health and possible influenza symptoms – headaches, fever, sore throats – and maps this information in real-time. This provides valuable real-time information for healthcare professionals on the demographic and geographic profile of people suffering from flu. The system can map the spread of the disease in its early stages, and provide health professionals with an early warning signal of nationwide outbreaks. Project Leader Dr Jim Duggan, of NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, says: “Last winter we tracked data from hundreds of volunteers, with the majority coming from Dublin, Cork and Galway. Amongst our participants, we saw particular spikes in illness in mid-to-late February, and also observed the highest percentage of self-reported flu levels from our survey in the under-18 year age group.” Flusurvey.ie has demonstrated the potential for self-reporting systems, and the team behind it is building on last year’s success to recruit more participants throughout the country. “Our web system is designed to handle a sizeable nationwide survey, and increasing the numbers who volunteer their health symptoms will enhance the overall information we can share with the HSE-HPSC”, adds Dr Duggan. Dr Darina O’Flanagan of the HSE-HPSC welcomed the re-launch and said that flusurvey.ie is a useful addition to flu surveillance in Ireland and that the information gathered will be aggregated to complement existing methods of influenza surveillance. Seasonal influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that is characterised by sudden onset of fever, accompanied by muscle pain or headache, and a cough or sore throat. In Ireland, the influenza season typically starts in October, and continues through to late May. Volunteers register online and self-report by answering short questions relating to demographic, medical, socio-economic and lifestyle issues. The system is secure, and all patient information is analysed at an aggregate and anonymous level. Participants can also view their individual symptom history, and interactive health maps at local and national levels. Flusurvey is accessible for registration at https://flusurvey.ie
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Launch of Groundbreaking Book on Genetic Discrimination
Friday, 19 December 2014
MEP Marian Harkin and members of the judiciary, as well as leading figures from the areas of disability and genetics joined on Friday night, 12th December, at the European Commission Representation to celebrate the launch of Genetic Discrimination – Transatlantic perspectives on the case for a European-level legal response. The book is edited by Professor Gerard Quinn, (Centre for Disability Law and Policy, School of Law, NUI Galway), Dr Aisling de Paor (School of Law and Government, DCU) and Peter Blanck (Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University, USA) and focuses particularly on the legislative and policy framework in the European Union emphasising gaps in protection and the scope for specific legislative action in the area of genetic discrimination. Professor Quinn said “One reason we are proud of this book is that it brings several disciplines together including the hard sciences, public policy, ethics and law in a common discussion about how to enable genetic and other scientific research to evolve and grow, how to enhance public confidence in the research and how to tame it so that it underpins and not undermines our values.” He continued “This book is written within a context that promises an explosion of scientific insights into what it means to be human and indeed how we might go beyond being human. It is a context that taxes our existing frames of reference to accommodate such changes whether they lie in ethics, public policy or law.” As genetic technologies advance, genetic testing may well offer the prospect of detecting the onset of future disabilities. Some research also posits that certain behavioural profiles may have a strong genetic basis, such as the determination to succeed, or the propensity for risk-taking. As this technology becomes more prevalent, there is a danger that genetic information may be misused by third parties and that particular genetic profiles may be discriminated against by employers, by providers of social goods and services, such as insurance companies and even by educational facilities. This book explores the different forms and potential uses of genetic testing. Drawing together leading experts in disability law, bioethics, health law and a range of related fields, it highlights the ethical and legal challenges arising as a result of emerging and rapidly advancing genetic science. On examining transatlantic perspectives on the matter, chapters in the book ask whether the US Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) is proving to be an effective tool in addressing the issue of genetic discrimination and alleviating fears of discrimination. The book also reviews what insights may be gained from GINA within employment and health insurance contexts, and asks how the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) may impact similar debates within the European Union. This book will be of great interest to scholars and students of discrimination law, bioethics and disability law, and will be of considerable use to legal practitioners, medical practitioners and policy-makers in this area. ENDS
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‘Ebola – The Facts’ Lecture at NUI Galway
Monday, 10 November 2014
NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery is running a free public lecture on Ebola: how it spreads, how it affects the human body, and how the outbreak can be contained. The lecture, on Tuesday, 18 November from 7-9pm in Áras Moyola, will also focus on hand washing and its importance in preventing the spread of infections in the community. Dr Diarmuid O’Donovan, senior lecturer in NUI Galway’s School of Medicine and the Director of Public Health for the HSE West, will be delivering the lecture alongside Evelyn Byrne, lecturer from the School of Nursing and Midwifery. Evelyn Byrne will explain why hand washing is important, including a demonstration on effective hand washing. Dr O’Donovan recently returned from working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the Ebola response. ‘Ebola – The Facts’ is the second event of a public lecture series, an innovative community outreach initiative started in NUI Galway’s School of Nursing & Midwifery this year. The series aims to share knowledge and expertise on health matters with local communities. Dr Adeline Cooney, Head of NUI Galway’ School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “This public lecture series is interactive in nature, allowing full community engagement and we look forward to active and lively discussions and debates.” If there are any future topics you would like covered during the lecture, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. -Ends-
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Explore the fascinating world of cells and how they make your brain work at NUI Galway workshops
Monday, 10 November 2014
Workshops are part of the 2014 Galway Science and Technology Festival Humans are complex living things, a family of over 100 trillion cells of which there are over 200 different types! In our brains alone there are 14 times more cells than people on the planet. The way in which our cells work together in our body is a fascinating story, one that you can learn about with Cell EXPLORERS at the Galway Science and Technology Festival this year. This year, Cell EXPLORERS is running three different interactive workshops at the Galway Science Technology Festival Exhibition Day on Sunday, 23 November. The popular workshops will contain activities such as observing your own cheek cells under microscopes, extracting DNA and building DNA models, participants can learn all about cells and DNA. The School of Natural Sciences Next Top Model Organism Workshop also returns, allowing the general public the chance to interact with passionate researchers in NUI Galway. Members of the public will have the chance to learn about and observe model organisms which are being studied and can then vote for their favourite. New to the exhibition this year is the Brain EXPLORERS Workshop, supported by both the American Society for Cell Biology and The Biochemical Society. Complementing the ‘Amazing Brain’ exhibition by the Galway Neuroscience Centre, it explores the brain from the cellular level through the use of engaging activities such as puzzles, matching games, interactive circuits, and model building races. Cell EXPLORERS is a science outreach programme based in the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway. Volunteer students, staff and researchers all work together to promote biological sciences to primary and secondary school children and their families in a way that is both accessible and fun! With both school visits and interactive workshops during Science Week and the Galway Science and Technology Festival, funded by a Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Award, there is something for every young (and older!) explorer. Since it began, Cell EXPLORERS has directly reached over 3,800 children, teachers and parents. The Cell EXPLORERS Fantastic DNA School Roadshow is once again bringing the opportunity to do DNA extraction experiments in the classroom to primary school children across Co. Galway! The ‘Little Cells’ school visits are also back. Aimed at infants, first and second classes this visit introduces young children to the different cells in our body in a fun and engaging way. To book a ticket for the free workshops visit the Galway Science and Technology Festival website, www.galwayscience.ie or go to the Galway Science & Technology Festival Exhibition day on Sunday, 23 November where you too can become a Cell EXPLORER! More information on Cell EXPLORERS is available on www.cellexplorers.com. -Ends-
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NUI Galway Hold Free Foot Screening for World Diabetes Day
Monday, 3 November 2014
To mark World Diabetes Day on Friday, 14 November, NUI Galway will provide a free foot screening clinic from 1-4pm in the NUI Galway Podiatry Skills Laboratory on the third floor of Áras Moyola on campus. Created in 1991, World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses. In Ireland, it remains unknown exactly how many people are currently living with diabetes. The Institute of Public Health’s report Making Diabetes Count estimated that there were about 143,000 people with diabetes in Ireland and predicted that this number would increase by 37%, to 194,000 people, by 2015. The Discipline of Podiatry at NUI Galway is the only School of Podiatry in the country and was established in 2008. Podiatry is a healthcare profession specialising in the management of disease and disorder of the lower limb and foot. Podiatrists are frequently involved in managing and treating individuals who are living with diabetes. For individuals who are living with diabetes – a number of diabetes related changes occur in the lower-limbs and ultimately this can affect the blood supply and the nerve supply to the feet. Dr Claire MacGilchrist, lecturer in Podiatry at NUI Galway, said: “Diabetes has emerged as a modern day epidemic and the literature has identified that for every individual diagnosed with diabetes there remains another individual living with the condition remaining undiagnosed. Early identification of the condition is essential and annual foot screening for individuals who have diabetes is crucial to identify diabetes related changes and implement effective management strategies to prevent ulcerations and amputations’. The World Health Organisation recently reported that every 20 seconds, somewhere in the world, a limb is lost as a consequence of diabetes, yet with effective screening programmes and early intervention strategies, ulceration and amputations are in many cases preventable.” The screening is strictly by appointment only. To schedule a 20 minute foot screening appointment email Dr Claire MacGilchrist at firstname.lastname@example.org or 091 494265 before Tuesday, 11 November. -Ends-
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