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Science Spinning Moving
April 05, 2011 07:33 AM PDT

Hi everyone,

Seán Duke here

I am moving location on the 'net to http://www.seanduke.com This will be the new home for my Dublin City FM podcasts as well as my print and other work.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed my podcasts and that you will continue to do so by subscribing at the new location, for free, at seanduke.com

The new site provides me with great storage capacity, as well as the ability to present my print work alongside my broadcast work.

Thanks for your support
Seán Duke
Science Journalist

How Scientific is the Film 'Limitless'?
April 01, 2011 10:30 AM PDT
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Keywords: Limitless, Brain, Untapped Potential

Broadcast on East Coast FM, The Morning Show with Declan Meehan, 30th March, 2011

IMAGE: The idea behind the film Limitless is that we don't use up to 90 per cent of our brain, and if we did, we could develop extraordinary abilities [Credit: sciencedaily.com]

In the recent film 'Limitless' a writer that is suffering from writer's block takes a drug that enables him to tap into the untapped potential of his mind, to great effect.

How real, or scientific is the premise behind 'Limitless'? What do scientists understand about the brain, and it's supposed untapped abilities?

Discussion here with Declan Meehan

Where is ET?; TB Makes a Comeback
March 28, 2011 04:20 AM PDT
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Keywords: Extra-terrestrial life, TB

IMAGE: The Milky Way pictured here, is made up of about 750 billion stars like our Sun, with an even larger number of orbiting planets. Is it conceivable that none of these planets have life, let alone intelligent life? [Credit: NASA] 

Broadcast 24th March 2011 on 103.2 Dublin City FM 

The Question Is?

It has become common for scientists to assume that the Universe is teeming with life, given its vastness, and the potential number of 'Earth-like' planets that exist. But, is this assumption valid? If so, how come we haven't found ET despite 50 years of serious effort? We put the questions to Paul Davies a leading figure in the SETI (search for extra-terrestrial intelligence) project based at Arizona State U. 

What's it all about?

We might have thought that we knew everything we needed to know about TB, Tuberculosis, or 'consumption', the scourge of 1940s and 1950s Ireland. But, apparently not, as TB has changed, become drug-resistant and is making a menancing comeback in modern Ireland. We ask Joe Keane, Consultant Respiratory Physician at St James's Hospital in Dublin to describe what this new TB threat is all about. 

To contact the show, email: sciencespinning@dublincityfm.ie

The Human Genome, Space Exploration, Evolution
March 11, 2011 07:53 AM PST
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Broadcast 10/03/2011 on 103.2 Dublin City FM

PIC: 'Buzz Aldrin' pictured on the Moon, July 1969 by Neil Armstrong. Putting men on the Moon was a tremendous technical achievement, but is space exploration worth the effort & resources put into it? [Credit: NASA]

 WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT? The Human Genome Project. What is it? and how will it change our lives? Tommie McCarthy, UCC, explains.

THE QUESTION IS? Is space exploration worth all the time, effort and resources put into it? We ask Irish European Space Agency engineer, James Geary, who has worked on several exploration projects. 

WRITERS' ROOM We talk to Wallace Arthur, Professor of Zoology, NUI Galway, and author of 'Evolution, A Developmental View', who has a different 'take' on evolution. 

To contact the show, email: sciencespinning@dublincityfm.ie 

Genetics, Super Materials, Recycling Energy
March 03, 2011 11:13 AM PST
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Broadcast on 24th February 2011 


Experts estimate that fossil-fuel burning power plants, such as the one pictured here, a peat fired plant in Ireland at Shannonbridge, Co Offaly, lose up to 70 per cent of their energy through heat losses. New nano materials could change all that [Credit: Wikipedia] 


Genetics, past, present and future, explained by Ken Wolfe, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) head of the only Irish laboratory involved in The Human Genome Project. 


We lose over 70 per cent of the energy - as heat - generated by fossil-fuel burning  power plants. Can nano materials improve things? We ask TCD nano researcher Jonathan Coleman. 


Ireland's county Waterford has produced many of Ireland's most famous scientists, including Robert Boyle, of Boyle's Law fame, and Atom splitter, Ernest Walton. Author Donald Brady tells us more. 

To contact the show email: sciencespinning@dublincityfm.ie

For more about the Presenter & Producer, Seán Duke, click here

Dark Matter, Climate 'Delusion', Solar Flares
February 25, 2011 02:21 AM PST
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Broadcast on 17th Feb. 2011 on 103.2 Dublin City FM 

IMAGE: Solar Flare captured on the Sun by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on 8th Sept. 2010 [Credit: NASA] 

What's it all about? Solar flares explained by Peter Gallagher, astrophysicist based at TCD. 

The question is? We see only four per cent of the 'stuff' the Universe is made up of. Where is the invisible 'dark matter' and what is it doing? We ask Paul Callanan, physicist at UCC.

Writer's room. We talk to Christian Gerondeau, author of 'Climate: The Great Delusion'

To contact the show, email: sciencespinning@dublincityfm.ie 

Sea Floor Spreading, Fossils, Tectonic Plates
February 23, 2011 02:06 AM PST
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Broadcast on 10th Feb. 2011 on 103.2 Dublin City FM

IMAGE: The Mid Atlantic Ridge (in red) can be seen on land in Iceland [Credit: Elliot Lim, CIRES & NOAA/NGOG]

What's it all About? Sea Floor Spreading explained by Bettie Higgs, Geology UCC

The Question Is? How solid is the Earth's crust where tectonic plates collide? We ask Sergei Lebedev, of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 

Writer's Room. We talk to Patrick Wyse-Jackson, curator of the Geology Museum at TCD, and author of 'Introducing Palaeontology, A Guide to Ancient Life' 

To contact the show email: sciencespinning@dublincityfm.ie

Thanks for listening

Seán Duke, Presenter & Producer of Science Spinning, 'The Show with an Irish Spin on Science' 

Geophysics; Nanotechnology; Native Irish Building Stone
February 07, 2011 09:12 AM PST
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Broadcast on 103.2 Dublin City FM on 3rd February 2011

IMAGE: Cover of 'Stone by Stone' a guide to the use of building stone in Northern Ireland [Credit: Appletree Press Ltd] 

What's it all about? Geophysics explained by Prof Chris Bean, School of Geosciences at UCD. 

The question is? Will nanotechnology change the world, and if so, how? We ask Aidan Quinn, Head of the Nanotechnology Research Unit at the Tyndall National Institute 

Writer's room. We talk to Dawson Stellfox, editor of 'Stone by Stone' a book that advocates use of native Irish stone in buildings here. 

To contact the show email: sciencespinning@dublincityfm.ie

For more about the presenter visit: Science Spinning 

Invasive Species Threat, Brown Trout in Ireland, Tree Pests & Global Warming
January 29, 2011 11:42 AM PST
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Broadcast on 103.2 Dublin City FM, 27th Jan. 2011

Brown Trout, such as the one pictured here, are the subject of an new book by Irish fishery scientist, Martin O'Grady [Credit: Wikipedia]

Trees act as a brake on global warming, as they suck up 'greenhouse gases', but new pests are increasingly threatening trees in Ireland and around the world. We ask John Sweeney, climate researcher at NUI Maynooth, how serious is the threat to trees and what can be done about it?

We speak to Martin O'Grady, author of 'Ireland's Brown Trout'

Invasive species are creating havoc in Ireland's rivers and lakes. We ask Joe Caffrey, of the Central Fishers Board, to explain what they are, and how they cause environmental damage.

To contact the show, email: sciencespinning@dublinclityfm.ie

Social Searching on the 'Net; Prime Numbers; Ireland's Animals
January 21, 2011 04:43 AM PST
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The cover of 'Ireland's Animals, myths, legends & folkore' by Niall Mac Coitir [Credit: Gordon D'Arcy].

The Question Is

Can we improve the quality of our Internet searches through co-operation? We ask Barry Smyth, Professor of Computer Science at UCD.

Writers' Room 

We speak to Niall Mac Coitir, author of 'Ireland's Animals, myths legends and folklore' 

What's it All About?

Prime numbers are the most basic building blocks of mathematics. Professor Des McHale, a mathematician at UCC, explain what prime numbers are, and why they are important to us all. 

To contact the show, email: sciencespinning@dublinclityfm.ie 

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