Nice guys DON’T always come last; long naps are bad for health; What if we could live for a million years?

Broadcast on Talk of the Town with Pat Byrne on Dundalk FM – 2nd September 2020

Taking naps during the day of longer than 60 minutes has been linked with a greater risk of heart problems (Credit: BBC)


Sledge dogs used by humans in Siberia 9,500 years ago

Listen below to Interview on Talk of the Town, Dundalk FM, 5th August 2020

Geneticists at Trinity College Dublin have confirmed DNA recovered from the bone of a dog found at a site in Siberian indicates humans were operating sledge dogs 9,500 years ago.

“Today a dog is a pet, but back then a dog was a tool, and a sledge dog is a tool,” said Dr Mikkel Sinding who led the research.

The island of Zhokov is is a well-known archaeological site, famous for its early evidence of dog breeding by humans. In 2003 a bone from a dog called Zhokov, which gave the island its name, was recovered by researchers at the Russian Academy of Scientists.

Dr Sinding, who specialises in ancient DNA, got permission to study the bone.

“We are very lucky in this regard because Siberia is a deep freezer, so the DNA was of quite good quality even though the bone was dissolved,” he added.

The analysis shows sledge dogs emerged as a separate breed of dog at least as far back as 9,500 years ago among Siberian article people.

Separate evidence from arrow tips which were made from stones at a site 1,500 km away indicates these ancient people were highly mobile – their diet was made up of a huge abundance of polar bear and reindeer.

“They had to transport big body parts back to camp,” Dr Sinding noted. “You don’t just walk away with a reindeer, or walk away with a polar bear.”

The research suggests sledges pulled by specially-bred dogs was one of the first forms of human transportation.

“It is comparable to when people in the Middle East invented the wheel,” he believed. “It’s one of the big things in human history. It makes good sense that in this environment the modern sledge dogs arose, but it’s near mind blowing that you still have the exact same family of dogs as you had back then doing the same thing for almost 10,000 years.”

Can consciousness survive ‘death’? – what the science says

Scientific research into near death experiences suggests that consciousness can survive after ‘death’. (Credit: Philosophy Talk)

There is growing evidence that consciousness continues past the point at which medical science currently defines ‘death’ to have occured.

Listen below to a discussion of this subject broadcast on ‘Talk of the Town’ on Dundalk FM(4th December 2019)

Science making progress on diseases of ageing

Ageing is increasingly been seen by scientists as something that can be addressed as a biological problem, with signs that future generations will be able to live healthier  and for decades longer.

Scientists estimate that future generations can live to 100 years in good health (Credit: UCD)

Click below to hear discussion about how scientists are working to extend the human ‘healthspan’ with Marissa Devereux, stand in host of Talk of the Town on Dundalk FM (97.7) broadcast on 6th Nov. 2019.