RTE One 7PM, Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sometimes big breakthroughs come in small packages! We meet the researchers who are taking big steps on the nano scale, developing revolutionary new methods for the production of lighter and cheaper plastics, manipulating food structures to reduce fat content while increasing flavour, and looking at how our genes have evolved over millions of years in an attempt to better understand genetic diseases.

Part 1 : Graphene

Ireland is currently 8th in the world for Materials Science research. Jonathan Coleman in TCD is developing innovative methods for the production of new materials that could be used to strengthen everyday plastics. His work has the genuine potential to offer huge benefits to the aerospace, automotive and manufacturing industries, cutting CO2 emissions and ultimately reducing the overall cost to consumers throughout the world.

Part 2 : Food Imaging

The microscopic structure of food significantly affects its processing characteristics, flavour properties and texture. We investigate Teagasc research that could provide keys to understanding and controlling food behaviour, which could solve the ‘reduced fat but with better taste’ challenge facing modern society.

Part 3 : Genetic Evolution

We look at the evolution of genes and investigate how we can use this understanding to potentially help treat health problems associated with certain genetic diseases, offering those affected the possibility of living longer and much healthier lives.