Pint of Science: The Science of the Irish Pub
Fittingly, on the final day of this year’s Pint of Science Dublin festival at J.T Pim’s, we examined the science that is the driving force behind the Irish pubs we know and love today. From the biotechnology that helps serve us our favourite pub snacks, to how our cells use convert what we consume into energy and how this impacts sports and even astronauts, then a brief overview of how the brewing has evolved from humble beginnings to the industrial juggernaut that we see today.
The first speaker, Dr Fergus Meade, a Postdoctoral Researcher at Teagasc, introduced us to the study of potato genomics. He described how the use of predictive biotechnology-based tools could be used to select genetic traits from parents, then effectively crossed thousands of times to produce a progeny of potatoes with selected characteristics and multiple disease resistance. This development of specified traits has the potential to massively increase efficiency in the agricultural potato cultivation, with an added ability to select for specific attributes that appeal to different markets globally.
Our second speaker, of the night, was John Noone, a PhD Researcher, at the National Institute of Cellular Biology, in the School of Health and Human Performance, DCU. John gave us his insight into the inner workings of our cell’s mitochondria and the crucial role it plays in providing energy for our metabolic activities. He is comparing the mitochondrial health and energy efficiency of sports athletes, who use their energy very efficiently, to people who suffer from diseases associated with inactivity or those who have completed space travel. By understanding mitochondrial efficiency and health, and how optimal performance is achieved, he hopes that the positive effects will can be transferred to situations where high activity does not happen, such as space travel.
The final speaker, to wrap up our Pint of Science Dublin 2019 festival, Ruaidhri Barry from ‘Grand Cru Beers’ speaking on ‘The Cult of Beers’. He provided us with insight the science of brewing, and also the origins of the brewing from ancient times right up to formation modern multinational industries and local breweries. Ruaidhri gave a whistle-stop tour of the humble origins of the known ubiquitous beverages, with witty anecdotes, and in-depth knowledge of the brewing process from hops, barley, wheat and water to manufacturing processes and sustainability. This talk was a perfect way to wrap what can only be described as an insightful and energetic evening of science.
This event would not have been possible without the generous support of the sponsors and volunteers so thanks to all for helping to make these great events possible.
If you missed out on this event, you can catch the live twitter post feed below, wonderfully curated by the fantastic @LorijnSZ: