Innovation

How the knowledge and ideas produced during research can translate into applications that would ultimately have an impact on people and society

Cloudy thinking on light therapy

The winter blues are commonplace (allegedly). Most of us in Northern climes have dull days when we'd like to float a little longer in the dreamy cloud of a warm duvet rather than tackle the cold, hard-edges of cloud computing and the day job. Limited exposure to sunlight and the feelings of lethargy it brings have even been medicalized in the form of Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD, a rather too convenient acronym, to my mind. However, there are studies that show that the so-called "winter blues" are actually more common in summer or moreover, that there is no seasonal pattern to misery and depression at all. That hasn't stopped a whole industry emerging from this "illness" selling light as a therapy. Read more [...]

Scientists – come meet the investors

The atmosphere has grown tense in the small lecture theatre, where the visibly frosty eyes of 200 or so wealthy investors are fixed upon the charts displayed on the projector in front of them. They are here to discuss the progress of their investments in a small UK venture capital firm, which specialises in investing in early-stage science and technology companies. For many in the room, progress has not been good - and they aren’t happy about it. Read more [...]

The hour of the amateur scientist – FTL neutrinos part 2

So. There have been lots of responses to my last article on the faster than light neutrinos. Some readers have asked me to explain to them the consequences of the measurement being correct. Others have been interested to hear more about the changing landscape of digital publishing. While a rare few were quietly satisfied with the idea that the neutrino result was well off being a ‘discovery’, and that we would have to wait patiently for a few years to find out what it might all mean. Read more [...]

Agreement will catalyse life sciences infrastructure

This week, ELIXIR has taken a step closer to becoming the central research infrastructure for life-science information in Europe. Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom plus the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to kick start the construction of ELIXIR. Read more [...]

World class facilities plus coffee fosters enterprise in Ireland

With the arrival of fifteen cadavers, the anatomy teaching lab in Trinity College Dublin’s new Biomedical Sciences Institute will be complete. It is already fitted with fifteen stations, each with surgical lights, a high-definition video camera and flat-screen monitor. The instructor can show the feed from any station on the monitors – all controlled from an iPad. Read more [...]

Pharma grinding to a hault?

More evidence recently published by the 2011 Pharmaceutical R&D Factbook indicates that the pharma industry's productivity is continuing to decline. Fewer new molecular entities were launched in 2010 than in any other year in the past decade. The number of drugs entering Phase I, II and III clinical trials is also declining. R&D expenditure has also dropped to a three year low of $68 billion. Read more [...]