RTE One 7.30PM, Friday, September 20, 2013

On this week’s show, Jonathan looks into the controversial world of genomic testing, Kathriona investigates our air quality and its potential impact on our health, and Aoibhinn checks out some Irish research projects that are destined for the stars!

Part 1 : Irish Science in Space

Irish scientists are making a name for themselves in space exploration across a number of fields. Aoibhinn meets the researchers who are developing new materials to protect a new €500million ESA satellite from the intense temperatures involved in flying closer to the sun than ever before, and meets scientists who are investigating novel ways to prevent the negative impact of space flights on astronauts – the results of which could help in the fight against Type 2 Diabetes.

Part 2 : Air Quality

The ability to breathe is something we all take for granted, but Ireland actually has the fourth highest prevalence of asthma sufferers in the world. Kathriona meets Gary and his 3 year old son Noah who both suffer from asthma to find out how it impacts on their life, and meets Micheál O’Dwyer from the Environmental Protection Agency to investigate the EPA’s new air quality index which has highlighted some interesting facts about our air quality and its impact on our health.

Part 3 : Human Genome

The sequencing of the first human genome came about in part through quantum leaps in information technology, and now members of the general public can access information about their own genes, and potentially the risk of developing diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Cystic Fibrosis through genomic testing. Jonathan decides to investigate this controversial topic by looking at his own genome to find out what these kinds of tests might reveal about his potential future health and discusses some of the psychological implications of finding out this kind of information for both him and his family.