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Futureproof with Jonathan McCrea


Jonathan responds to your texts and tweets, is joined in studio for all the latest science stories for Newsround and speaks to one of our two guests featured on the show. Listen and subscribe to Futureproof with Johnathan McCrea on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Download, listen and subscribe on the Newstalk App. You can also listen to Newstalk live on newstalk.com or on Alexa, by and asking: 'Alexa, play Newstalk'


Dublin, Ireland


Jonathan responds to your texts and tweets, is joined in studio for all the latest science stories for Newsround and speaks to one of our two guests featured on the show. Listen and subscribe to Futureproof with Johnathan McCrea on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Download, listen and subscribe on the Newstalk App. You can also listen to Newstalk live on newstalk.com or on Alexa, by and asking: 'Alexa, play Newstalk'




Newstalk HQ Marconi House Digges Lane Dublin 2 1890 453106


Futureproof Extra: Combating Bad Data & Misleading Numbers

Nature is, without over-egging things, an unstoppable force – one which we pale miserably in comparison to with all our brio and intellect. But we do try to understand nature and the world we live in and perhaps the most fundamental way that we do that is through numbers. And while we like to think we have a pretty good grasp of them, that’s unfortunately, not always the case. Georgina Sturge, author of ‘Bad Data: How Governments, Politicians and the Rest of Us Get Misled by Numbers’ and the House of Commons Library's statistics specialist. She joins Jonathan to discuss.


Innovating Healthcare: Galway's Clinical Revolution

Induced temporary hibernation for surgery and long-term space travel, creating energy from nothing, skin patch immunotherapy for peanut allergies, and the mechanism of our foot arches- Jonathan looks back at the latest breaking stories from the world of science this week with Catherine McGuinness, science communicator and Dr Shane Bergin, physicist, and an assistant professor in science education at UCD's School of Education. Jonathan explores the establishment of Ireland's first Institute for Clinical Trials at the University of Galway. Led by Director Peter Doran, the Institute aims to transform the clinical research landscape by translating scientific advances into improved patient care. Through collaboration with academia, clinicians, and industry partners, the Institute will prioritize research areas that benefit the wider population, with a focus on improving patient outcomes and positioning Ireland as a leader in clinical trials. Jonathan hears from Peter Doran and parent Noreen Doyle about how this new initiative will drive innovation and positively impact healthcare delivery.


Futureproof Extra: Immunology Breakthrough

Immunotherapy is a type of treatment which helps the immune system fight cancer. It enhances the system ability to recognize, target, and eliminate cancer cells, wherever they are in the body, making it a potential universal answer to cancer. However, not all cancers respond to this type of treatment. Why is it only effect in 20-40% of cases? And is there anything we can do to improve the response rate? Aideen Ryan joins Jonathan to bring us up to date on new research which may hold the answers for improving cancer treatment. She is an associate professor in tumour immunology from the University of Galway.


The First Egyptian Astronaut

People with prosthetic limbs are able to feel warmth in their missing hands, a type of bacteria in babies being a predictor of future weight struggles, car racers seemingly blink in synchronicity, and new research suggesting chronic and acute pain are two different things. The latest science news is brought to you by Dr Ruth Freeman from Science Foundation Ireland, and Dr Jessamyn Fairfield from the University of Galway. Jonathan also speaks with Sara Sabry, an astronaut who was selected from 7,000 citizens to go into space at the age of 29. She was the first Egyptian astronaut, the first Arab woman in space, and the first woman from the African continent to go to space. She is the Co-Founder of Deep Space Initiative and appearing at the Dublin Tech Summit, held between 31 May 2023 and 1 June 2023.


Futureproof Extra: AI Mindreading

Speech to text, text to speech, but what about thoughts to text? A new technology has been developed which allows AI to convert your thoughts into text. The person behind the research is Alexander Huth, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. He joins me on this week’s Futureproof Extra to discuss “semantic decoders”.


Why can’t we breathe underwater?

On this week’s episode, Eoin Murphy and Dr Jessamyn Fairfield take us through the latest stories in our Newsround. We hear about the world’s deadliest mushrooms, gender disparity in science referencing, dream gloves and what bears are telling us about blood clot prevention. Not only that, but we get to hear from a lung and evolutionary expert on why humans can’t breath underwater and what the likelihood is of us ever developing that ability again.


Futureproof Extra: Is Immortality by 2045 Possible?

It is not a matter of how we become immortal, it's a matter of when- that’s according to this week’s guest, José Luis Cordeiro. He is the author of ‘The Death of Death’, and believes we are getting closer to discovering the secrets of nature by identifying cells that do not age.


The Science of Measurement

Have you ever wondered how humans came about the concept of ‘measuring’ things? How did Ancient Egyptians use giant rulers to predict the harvest in coming months? James Vincent is the author of ‘Beyond Measure: The Hidden History of Measurement from Cubits to Quantum Constants’ and he joins me this week to talk about how this concept shapes the way we see the world. I'm also joined by Dr Lara Dungan and Dr Shane Bergin for this week's Newsround discussing intrauterine surgery, blood tests to check sleep, a new organelle and how body odour could be the antidote to social anxiety.


Futureproof Extra: The Secrets Of Our Seas

Helen Czerski, bubble physicist and the author of 'Blue Machine: How the Ocean Shapes Our World', joins Jonathan McCrea to discuss the secrets of our seas.


Lab-Grown Blood

In this episode of Futureproof, Dr Susan Kelleher and Dr Lara Dungan join Jonathan McCrea for Newsround, and he explores the future of lab-grown blood with Dr Rebecca Cardigan, National Head of Component Development from NHS Blood & Transplant.


Futureproof Extra: Curing Hearing Loss

Dr. Zheng-Yi Chen, Associate Scientist in the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories at Mass Eye and Ear Hospital in Boston, speaks with Futureproof host Jonathan McCrea about his efforts to cure hearing loss.


Vaccine Patches

On this episode of Futureproof: Dr Ruth Freeman, Science Foundation Ireland & Eoin Murphy, biochemist and science communicator, join Jonathan McCrea for Newsround. And Dr. Anne Moore, Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator in Vaccines at University College Cork, explains her work in developing vaccine patches.


Futureproof Extra: The Future of Surrogacy & AI

Surrogacy can be a complicated enough process but if you bring in the potential of AI into it, how would it look? To discuss this and the future of surrogacy in general, Jonathan is joined by Dr. David Walsh, 'First IVF' chairman.


Short Term Memory Illusions

Over time, our memory begins to fade but new research suggests human memory can go wrong just three seconds after an event takes place. The author of a new study on short-term memory illusion, Dr. Marte Otten, a Cognitive Psychologist from the University of Amsterdam joins Jonathan to discuss.


Futureproof Extra: 'JUICE' Mission & Exploring Jupiter

Professor Caitriona Jackman is an Irish space scientist and head of the planetary magnetospheres group at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and was among those at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, for the launch of ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer mission, or “JUICE”. She joins Jonathan to discuss the mission and what she and her colleagues hope to learn.


Injectable Brain Implants

Implanting an electrode into your fragile brain to control abnormal activity can cause extensive damage. But researchers in Sweden have developed a type of gel that they hope will ease the process of neural implantation for humans and perhaps ultimately help the treatment of diseases like Parkinson’s. Joining Jonathan to discuss is Hanne Biesmans, Ph.D. student at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, at Linköping University in Sweden.


Futureproof Extra: Interpreting Alien Signals

What would a message from ET sound like? Researchers at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Post-Detection Hub at the University of St Andrews in Scotland have their eyes and ears peeled to interpret alien language. Among them is Dr John Elliott, Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Computer Science and the Coordinator for the SETI Post Detection Hub at the University of St Andrews in Scotland and Chair of UK SETI Research Network.


Have we smelled everything in the world?

Joining Jonathan on this episode of Futureproof is Dr Aashish Manglik, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California who is examining how odour activates our human receptors. Also featuring Dr Lara Dungan and Dr Oran Kennedy in Newsround.


Futureproof Extra: How are diamonds formed?

Diamond formation occurs when carbon deposits deep within the earth are subject to high temperatures and pressure. But what are the specific environmental conditions needed to make this actually happen? You’d think that by now we would have a pretty good grasp of how they form considering the value we place on them, but that’s not the case. Until now that is. Dr. Emma Tomlinson is an Associate Professor of Geology at Trinity College Dublin and part of a team from TCD and Queensland University of Technology who have been looking into this. She joins Jonathan to discuss.


Thomas Hertog on space, time, and working with Stephen Hawking

Theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking is famous the world over, but one of his closest collaborators for twenty years was working alongside him developing a new theory of the cosmos. Thomas Hertog, a cosmologist from KU Leuven University in Belgium, explores this in his newly published book, ‘On The Origin of Time: Stephen Hawking’s Final Theory’. He joins Jonathan to discuss.