The Research & Innovation Conference & Exhibition was held earlier this week. It was a busy day, especially as this year the conference was co-located with the inaugural National Health Expo. Each of the events had a main stage and several seminar rooms where talks were held throughout the day. With a line-up of over 100 speakers it’s an event worth attending as a team, because so many interesting talks were on simultaneously!
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Yesterday the Science Gallery was the venue for a Health Research Board (HRB) sponsored talk on antimicrobial resistance entitled “Bugs versus Drugs”. It was an evening of insightful discussion between Dr Fidelma Fitzpatrick (Consultant Microbiologist Beaumont Hospital and Senior Lecturer at RCSI), Dr Andrew Murphy (a General Practitioner and Professor in NUI Galway) and science journalist Maryn McKenna. The broadcaster Jonathan McCrea hosted the conversation. As the audience included non-scientists, Dr Fitzpatrick started by explaining that while “bugs” in microbiology include bacteria, viruses and fungi, antibiotics only work against bacteria and often only against a specific type of bacteria. Antibiotic resistance refers to the strategies bacteria develop to prevent antibiotics from acting against them.