Background

RTE One 8.30PM, Monday, December 01, 2014


Aoibhinn puts on her beekeeper’s hat to see what science is doing to protect our endangered bee population, Jonathan investigates a little-known genetic disorder that affects over 400,000 people in Ireland, and Kathriona finds out how her gut bacteria compares to the elite athletes of the Irish rugby team!



Part 1 : Bees

Those who have been paying attention to environmental news over the past couple years know that honey bees have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Aoibhinn investigates the true extent of the problem and what the consequences might be in terms of biodiversity, and heads to Galway to visit researchers who are working on products that could improve the health of honeybees.

Part 2 : Gut Health

And from the guts of bees, to a gutsy bunch on the rugby field… what can we about the relationship between our diet, exercise, gut bacteria and general health? Teagasc’s Paul Cotter recently conducted a study with the Irish Rugby team to examine the impact of exercise and diet on gut microbial diversity. Kathriona compares her gut health to our elite sports stars and finds about the next stage of Paul’s trial…

Part 3 : Weird Science - Axons and the Need for Speed!

Signals move from our brain to our body along vast networks of nerve cells called neurons, but not all these signals travel at the same speed. So what happens when our body requires a faster response?

Part 4 : Lung Health

Ireland has the third highest death rate from lung disease in Europe. It can affect anyone regardless of age, health status and walk of life yet unlike the other big killer, Heart Disease, it doesn’t seem to be prioritised. Jonathan meets Prof Gerry McElvaney from RCSI who has discovered that the high prevalence of one type of lung disease in this country could be linked to a genetic lung condition (Alpha-1) which affects 1 in 24 Irish people, 90% of which are undiagnosed…

For more information on Alpha-1 and how to get tested, visit the Alpha One Foundation website, www.alpha1.ie, ring 01-8093871 or email alpha1@rcsi.ie