RTE One 7.30PM, Friday, October 18, 2013

This week, Aoibhinn takes a look at the science behind running, Jonathan investigates the benefits and challenges of developing offshore wind turbine platforms, while Kathriona gets close up and personal with some mosquitoes to find out how Irish scientists are helping to eradicate Malaria…

Part 1 : The Science of Running

There has been an explosion in the popularity of running in Ireland in recent times. Aoibhinn gets into her running gear and takes a close look at how science is facilitating this passion, both from a physical and mental point of view with apps and monitoring technology, to gait analysis and clothing/footwear design.

Part 2 : Offshore Wind Platforms

It’s estimated that approximately 25,000MW of offshore wind could be installed off the west coast without adverse environmental effects. This is more than 4 times the national electricity generation requirement. The scope for fixed offshore wind on the west coast is limited due to depth, foundation design, installation times etc, therefore floating wind is receiving more attention. Jonathan investigates the Hexwind research project which is being coordinated by Beaufort Research in UCC, and looks into the advantages of floating platforms over fixed and how this could contribute to Ireland’s foothold in the sustainable energy market.

Part 3 : Malaria

Malaria is a major cause of illness and death on our planet, with around half the world’s population at risk of infection. Recent attempts at a new vaccine, including Bill Gates and GlaxoSmithKline world’s largest malaria vaccine trial, have proven unsuccessful.  However, all is not lost, as a new vaccine developed in Ireland is now undergoing clinical trials. Kathriona meets Prof Sam McConkey, Head of International Health and Tropical Medicine at RCSI to find out about the development of this potential vaccine, and speaks to some of the volunteers who are involved in the clinical trials. In Oxford, Kathriona meets Irish researcher Adrian Hill who is conducting Phase II of the trial which will test whether the vaccine (now proven safe in Phase I) produces an immunological response to Malaria in the body…