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Getting ready for our second night of @pintofscienceIE at @JTPims with 3 wonderful speakers about the Science of the Irish Pub. Follow this thread to get all the interesting scientific facts! #pint19
@pintofscienceIE @JTPims I am totally ready for this!
@pintofscienceIE @JTPims As is our first speakers: Fergus Meade, talking about potato genomics @teagasc @fmeade #pint19
Fergus Meade: breeding potatoes is a slow process and starts again every year. We collect the seeds one year, and in the next year all the seedlings growing to be going through a selection process. In year 3 then the potatoes go into the field for the first time! #pint19
Fergus Meade: The potato genome has been sequenced in 2011. In Europe we grow 60 million tons of potatoes every year. Having a genome sequence speeds up efficiency of potato breeding. #pint19
Fergus Meade: other than drought, worms and fungi are dangers to the potato growth. They cause massive losses (5 billion euros for fungi + 300 million euros for worms in Europe alone) The genome can help develop potato varieties that are resistant to these dangers #pint19
Fergus Meade: Whole genome re-sequencing was used to identify the SNPs that mark the resistant types. The SNPs can be used for constructing genetic maps to detect novel resistance genes, but also for identifying variants in panel for processing and cooking traits. #pint19
Fergus Meade: In Ireland we like our crisps as light as possible, whereas New Zealand likes them slightly darker, so farmers have to breed for the consumers' wishes. #pint19
Fergus Meade: If you store them <8 degrees C for a long time, they get darker. Goal is to breed potatoes that don't discolor after long-time storage. Lots of SNPs have been discovered, which was followed by lots of frying to make packets of chips 🍟 #pint19
Fergus Meade: Can we use DNA to find the next perfect crisp? We hope to reduce the costs and efforts of farmers and increase the consumer's pleasure #pint19
Next up: John Noone about Muscle Mania and the Mighty-Condria @JohnNoone4 #pint19
John Noone: How do sporters get so good and how does their environment influence this? How do we use the energy in the muscle system? And how do we convert the energy to perform tasks? #pint19
John Noone: We've all heard the story that our body and muscles are like a well-oiled machine. But we're actually not that efficient! We only use about 25% of the energy we take in. And this energy usage dictates our performance and health. #pint19
John Noone: Sporters use their energy very efficiently. The potential intake has the option to change. If you do not use it, you store it and the stored energy goes up, eventually leading to diseases that are associated with inactivity or space travel #pint19
John Noone: Mighty mitochondria can be compared to Driving Miss Daisy. They've infiltrated the cell, then produces energy and the cell benefits from this. It's led to evolution of human being. Mitochondria are like Morgan Freeman, it drives the cell, the cell benefits. #pint19
John Noone: The mitochondria facilitate long duration exercises. Our current research is trying to make sure that these effects can be transferred to situations where the right type of activity does not happen, like space travel. #pint19
Last speaker before the Q&A: Ruaidhri Barry from Grand Cru Beers, speaking about The Cult of Beer! Star of the night for this session of Pint of Science.. @GrandCruBeers #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: Brewing starts with malting. Can be done with any grain. The sugars are exposed quickly to very high heat and it goes into the lautering ton with warm water. The sugar particles are dispersed throughout the water. #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: Water is filtered and brought into the boiling ton. The hops is introduced at this stage. They’re put into a holding phase. Can last hours of days, depending ont raditons and techniques. Then goes through whirlpooling. #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: Pulls larger particles out, to further filter the liquid. Then it’s cooled to 8-14 degrees and put into fermenting tank. This is where we add yeast. Yeast loves to eat sugar and when it does so, it produces alcohol and a bit of CO2. #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: Then beer goes into maturing tanks, getting closer to end product. There might be some more filtration or ingredients depending on style. Then the product goes to packaging and can be sold! #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: Water is important. For example: if acidity is too high, beer comes out flat. #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: Bit of history: In a cave in Israel, residue was found of different stages of brewing process. Bodies were dated from 13.000 years ago. #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: While 3500 years ago beer was drank on a small scale and was only for domestic use, Roman Centurians would drink 3-4 litres a day. #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: Due to the boiling part of the beer brewing process, people who (only) drank beer did not suffer from the same type of diseases in history. #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: In medieval times, ever type of ingredient was used to try and improve the flavor of the beer. The first mention of hops is from this era. Monasteries became famous for brewing beer, e.g. Trappist, as this was the only source of income allowed. #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: Hops was not very popular, especially in England. They stayed with ale for a long time. Beer was considered sacred and adding things was thought to possibly anger the gods. #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: The Germans (who else) introduced the Reinheitsgebot (the purity law). Was introduced in 1567. Yeast had not been discovered yet and fermenting was not understood well. However, an accidental discovery of bottom fermenting against top fermenting was made! #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: By storing the beer in cold places, for example in Germany, top fermenting was also discovered. This way is only used in lager. Lager however is the most used beer style in the world. 80% of beers are lagers. Top fermenting can also be used for 0% beers. #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: Weihenstephan is the world's oldest brewery, estimated from 1040 and is owed by the state of Bavaria. They make only 4 type of beers but after a thousand years they are still going. #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: The industrial revolution and the development of the steam engine, thermometer and hydrometer changed how beer was made. Pasteur giving understanding to yeast in 1857 removed mysticism around beer (for better or worse) #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: Bottled beers became more prevalent because glass could be made and brown glass was used in 1912 to prevent UV tainting #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: About beer styles: Classically there are 57 beer styles. Lots of them are ales and lagers. Different countries have different styles. Belgium likes fruity beers. Ireland likes red ales. Brown ales were made by the English (due to them being slow on hops) #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: We have more varieties and combinations of hops and malts and yeasts than ever before. When selling beer, we easily get 6 or 7 new beers every week. #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: There's clear national pride component as well. In Ireland we drink more Guinness than anywhere else... except Nigeria! #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: "A fine beer may be judged with one sip, but it's best to be thoroughly sure" -- Bavarian proverb (apparently.. @jeublanc? ;-) )
Ruaidhri Barry: Modern attitudes are changing towards beer for instance in terms of sustainability and environmental consciousness. Cans are easier to recycle than bottles, so many companies are switching to cans. They are using recyclable paints on them. #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: Carlsberg is particularly good at this. They are getting rid of the plastic rings and holders and instead use materials that can be eaten by the local fauna. #pint19
Ruaidhri Barry: Final note for this talk: Get you someone who looks at you like this beer looks at me #pint19
Q&A: Q to Fergus: how spread is this high-tech method of potato gene sequencing among farmers? Fergus: Not as much in Ireland, but in the Netherlands farmers hand this process over to breeding companies. Takes 12 years, breeding companies try to speed up this process #pint19
Fergus: During assessment over 50 traits are assessed. A lot of genetic diversity is still in South America (where potatoes are from). They might have more resistant genes than we have in the varieties we have here now. #pint19
Q to Fergus: Are there any unintended effects of breeds? Fergus: A disease resistant gene could indeed have additional effects. But we can identify that early and try to break that link. #pint19
Q to John: Could your research be applied to diseases? John: Yes, it's already being used. However, it's a chicken-egg scenario regarding dysfunction of mitochondria and adaptation to the environment. #pint19
Q to Ruaidhri: Why does beer taste better from a glass than a can? Ruaidhri: This seems to be personal preference. People have hard time differentiating. But companies like cans better than bottles. Cans are better for beer compared to glass. It's easier and cheaper. #pint19
Ruaidhri: Being a brewer is all about passion. Mister Guinness built houses close to the brewery for his workers to live in so whenever there was a problem, he could easily call them in. #pint19
And that's it! Thanks to our sponsors, speakers, and JT Pim's for making this possible #pint19
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