Increased understanding and awareness of the interconnections between humans and planet earth has never been more pertinent, given the concerns about climate change, and also the saga of how a new virus appeared to jump species and cause a global pandemic
Irish scientists are at the forefront of many of the modern developments, and a new six-week run of the RTÉ1 series 10 Things To Know About will tell us how.
The series is again presented by the Echo columnist and Cork science writer Kathriona Devereux, along with Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin and Jonathan McCrea, as we discover how Irish research is hopefully helping drive us towards a brighter, better world.
The first episode of the new run on Monday, November 9, at 8,30pm covers the subject of light.
Bioluminescence is like nature’s chemical flashlight in the dark — illuminating caves, lakes and oceans with an incredible fluorescent glow.
One of the best examples of bioluminescence in Ireland can be seen in Lough Hyne here in West Cork, and the programme takes a night trip to see how this amazing natural phenomenon creates stunning blue sparkles in the pitch-dark water.
Meanwhile, back on dry land, the glimmering power of bioluminescence is driving important research developments in medical science.
Photonics — or the science of light — is considered to be one of the key technologies of the 21st century.
In the episode, we meet the Irish researchers using fluorescence in cancer diagnosis, and developing infra-red light technologies to monitor the lung function of premature babies.