Could real time analysis of the Nutritional Density of the food we eat become the next great leap for food production? Clive Bright of the Organic Trust and Dermot McNally of Transition Monaghan take a look at this exciting area of science.
BirdWatch Ireland is the largest independent conservation organisation in Ireland. Established in 1968, this registered charity has in excess of 15,000 members and supporters, as well as a local network of over 30 branches nationwide. If you become a member of BirdWatch Ireland, you’ll receive a glossy quarterly magazine and invites to conservation events all over Ireland. Family membership includes a smaller magazine that’s dedicated to encouraging children to get involved in learning and appreciating nature. Despite the funding challenges posed by Covid, BirdWatch Ireland continues its mission, believing that their work is more vital than ever. This week Dermot McNally takes a look at some of the work going on at BirdWatch Ireland. All images courtesy of BirdWatch Ireland.
Despite internal disagreement, the EU recently announced that it is proposing to classify energy from nuclear power as green. If a majority of member states back it, it will become EU law in 2023. Dermot McNally takes a look at the arguments involved and the effect this might might have on Ireland.
Magnetoreception is a sense which allows organisms to detect magnetic fields and use them to align themselves. This sensory system is used by a range of animals for orientation and navigation. The idea that animals perceive earth’s magnetic field was once dismissed as impossible by physicists and biologists – they argued that it is much too weak for an organism to detect and there are no biological mechanisms capable of converting magnetic-field information into electrical signals used by the nervous system. Over time, however, evidence showed that animals can perceive magnetic fields. It is now clear that many species utilise information in earth’s magnetic field to guide their movements over distances both large and small. What has remained mysterious is exactly how they do this.
South African Quantum Physicists, Betony Adams and Francesco Petruccione, share some current theories, including how birds use magnetoreception to navigate during long-distance migration. This article first appeared in ‘Quest: Science for South Africa’ in January 2022.