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IOCB Prague and Charles University Faculty of Science establish joint endowed chair

IOCB Prague and Charles University Faculty of Science establish joint endowed chair

Two distinguished Czech academic institutes in the field of natural sciences, the Faculty of Science, Charles University (FOS) and the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), have reached an agreement on the creation of a joint endowed chair for the development and testing of new drugs. Millions of Czech crowns in funding for the new position is being provided by IOCB, which will help attract a leading foreign scientist to the Czech Republic and allow them to form their own research group focusing on the discovery and development of new antiparasitics.

Published Jun 11, 2019

Popular Science: How can we analyse Hepatitis C virus variants?

Popular Science: How can we analyse Hepatitis C virus variants?

The Hepatitis C virus, a cause of serious liver disease, infects more than 130 million people worldwide. The virus mutates rapidly and has a wide variety of genotypes, which complicates treatment. A team of scientists from the laboratory of Doctor Martin Pospíšek from Charles University invented a new method that could help describe the diverse variety of viruses present in patients.

Published Jun 10, 2019

Popular Science: Giant dragonflies and their way of life – reconstruction based on fossil findings

Popular Science: Giant dragonflies and their way of life – reconstruction based on fossil findings

The maximum wingspan of dragonflies these days is about 19 cm, but in the Late Palaeozoic (approximately 300 Mya), the largest representatives of the Meganeuridae family had a wingspan of about 71 cm. They were thus the largest known insects ever and previously there were already some hypotheses, based on (unfortunately often incomplete) fossil findings and on comparisons with modern-day species, about how these flying colossuses lived. However, an international French-Czech-US team, together with Jakub Prokop and Martina Pecharová from the Department of Zoology of the Faculty of Science, showed that these speculations were not correct and proposed a more probable scenario.

Published May 27, 2019

Conference PTNCE 2019: call for papers

Conference PTNCE 2019: call for papers

Conferences of the Polish Society for Human and Evolution Studies (PTNCE) are international meetings which bring together a wide range of scholars who use in their research the evolutionary framework. PTNCE conferences are well known for a friendly atmosphere and high quality of discussions and scientific results presented by participants. The conference is for the first time held outside of Poland. Join us on 24–27 September 2019 in Prague. Click for link to conference site including call for papers.

Published May 22, 2019

Popular Science: How do we choose a partner? Do partner preferences remain stable throughout a relationship?

Popular Science: How do we choose a partner? Do partner preferences remain stable throughout a relationship?

Choosing a partner is a key decision in a person’s life. What characteristics do we look for in a partner? Does our notion of an ideal partner change during a relationship? These are some of the questions asked by scientists Radka Kučerová, Zsófia Csajbók and Jan Havlíček from the Charles University. Their most recent paper examines ideal partner preferences and how they change during a relationship.

Published May 20, 2019

Popular Science: Understanding the power of honey through its proteins

Popular Science: Understanding the power of honey through its proteins

Honey is a culinary staple that can be found in kitchens around the world. Humans have used honey throughout history, and its long shelf life and medicinal properties make it a unique, multipurpose natural product. Although it seems that a lot is known about the sweet substance, surprisingly little is known about its proteins. Now, researchers report in ACS’ Journal of Natural Products new data on honey proteins that could lead to new medicinal applications.

Published May 13, 2019

The role of nomadic pastoralists in the genetic history of the Sahelian/Savannah inhabitants

The role of nomadic pastoralists in the genetic history of the Sahelian/Savannah inhabitants

Previous archaeological and linguistic research suggested that the prehistoric population of the Sahel and adjacent savannahs diversified over time into sedentary farmers and nomadic pastoralists. A team from Czech, Senegalese, Sudanese and Portuguese institutions, including Martina Čížková, Iva Kulichová and Viktor Černý from the Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics and Pavel Munclinger from the Department of Zoology from the Faculty of Science, decided to verify this hypothesis using molecular-genetics methods.

Published May 13, 2019

The blue-green world of deep-sea fish

The blue-green world of deep-sea fish

An international team of scientists, including lead co-author Zuzana Musilová from the CU Faculty of Science, recently discovered that some deep-sea fish possess a unique set of photosensitive pigments that probably enable some form of colour vision, even at great depths. The article was published as the cover story of the most recent issue of the world's most prestigious scientific magazine, Science.

Published May 09, 2019

From Albertov to Harvard – a tale from the laboratory of protein structures

From Albertov to Harvard – a tale from the laboratory of protein structures

Dr Katarína Pšenáková is a recent graduate from the Department of Physical and Macromolecular Chemistry. Thanks to a Support for talented students, a grant from the Endowment Fund of Faculty of Science, Charles University, she had the opportunity to spend some time at the National Institute of Health in Washington D.C. during her doctoral studies. Her journey took her to a post-doctoral fellowship in the revered halls of Harvard.

Published Apr 24, 2019

Are intestinal parasites of great apes and humans as closely related as their hosts are?

Are intestinal parasites of great apes and humans as closely related as their hosts are?

The clinical detection and identification of Entamoeba (intestinal parasites) is usually performed using light microscopy, which is often complicated and imprecise. An international team from Czech, Belgian and Swiss institutions, including Jakub Kreisinger from the Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, has developed a new and more effective approach consisting of advanced molecular methods. It is also the first comparison of the Entamoeba lineages in humans and wild great apes.

Published Apr 23, 2019

A focus on golf courses: devastation or a chance for nature?

A focus on golf courses: devastation or a chance for nature?

Golf courses are now a natural part of our landscape. Although their history in our country dates back over 100 years, recently their development has been more rapid. Along with accelerated construction, an increased interest in this phenomenon has begun, both positive and negative. Positively, golf courses can be seen especially in connection with land reclamation, yet if they are built on high quality agricultural land, the views differ. What is their current state of development since 1990, and how do they affect the landscape? From the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice together with specialists from our faculty—Přemysl Štych from the Department of Applied Geoinformatics and Cartography and Dana Fialová and Lenka Svobodová from the Department of Social Geography and Regional Development—a team of scientists focused on this question.

Published Apr 15, 2019

How does climate affect plant traits?

How does climate affect plant traits?

Irena Šímová from the Department of Ecology of the Faculty of Science, Charles University, is one of two main authors of a study, in which scientists from a total of 23 workplaces across Europe and America participated. Its main objective was to find out what traits of woody and herbaceous plants on the American continent are affected by the climate. For the analysis, scientists used data in the BIEN and TRY databases. They contain extensive datasets on occurrences of plant species and plant traits. Woody plants have revealed a clear influence of the climate on individual traits. These two growth forms of plants - trees and herbs - seem to have different life strategies.

Published Apr 08, 2019

If I stridulate, you won’t eat me, will you?

If I stridulate, you won’t eat me, will you?

Stridulation is a type of acoustic signaling, which is quite widespread in various arthropods. Nevertheless, people usually associate these sounds (created by rubbing certain body parts together) mainly with insects, probably mostly with crickets. Have you heard that spiders can also stridulate and that it is obviously quite common behavior for them, as it has been documented in more than 30 spider families so far? However, the function of stridulation is still not known in many species and that is why a team of scientists from Prague and Brno universities, including František Štáhlavský from the Department of Zoology from the Faculty of Science, studied spiders of the genus Palpimanus.

Published Apr 08, 2019

9th European Conference on Mineralogy and Spectroscopy

9th European Conference on Mineralogy and Spectroscopy

We would like to draw your attention to the updated information on the 9th European Conference on Mineralogy and Spectroscopy that will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, between September 11 and September 13, 2019.

Published Apr 02, 2019

Klara Hlouchova´s team gets HFSP Young Investigator grant

Klara Hlouchova´s team gets HFSP Young Investigator grant

The team of Klara Hlouchova together with two other teams, Kosuke Fujishima (Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo) and Stephen Fried (John Hopkins University, Baltimore) were awarded the prestigious Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigators grant for their interdisciplinary project investigating the structure/function space of prebiotic to biological proteins. The project is supported by an overall amount of around 1 Million USD, distributed among the three project members.

Published Apr 02, 2019

Behind the fog as thick as pea soup and even further…

Behind the fog as thick as pea soup and even further…

...we often find our country. This is because in the “Czech basin surrounded by mountains”, fog is a relatively frequent phenomenon, in part because of the geomorphology. We talk about fog when a cloud of suspension of water droplets reduces the visibility to less than one kilometer in at least one direction. If the visibility is from 1 to 2 km, it is called mist and from 2 to 5 kilometers, haze. The most intense fog in terms of visibility and density is found in the mountains, where they also have a significant impact on the water balance, so we can talk about a major influence on the mountain ecosystem. In the lowlands, fog does not occur as often. In urban agglomerations, however, the occurrence of condensation nuclei formed by aerosol particles with radii from 10-8 to 10-5 support its occurrence. At the same time, the high levels of pollutants present a great danger. Individual places in Czechia differ not only in intensity, range and type, but also in the fog frequency, from only tens of days to almost 300 days a year. Several studies from different parts of Europe show a decrease in fog frequency due to either climate change or an improvement of the ambient air quality. And how does the long-term trend look in our territory? A group of scientists under the leadership of Iva Hůnová from the Institute for Environmental Studies is dealing with the question.

Published Mar 25, 2019

BAE-GYOON PARK: EAST ASIAN URBAN AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

BAE-GYOON PARK: EAST ASIAN URBAN AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Lecture: Special zones and territorialities of East Asian developmental states, 25.3. 2019, Monday, 15.00 - 17.00 Pravá rýsovna, Lecture: Urban ideology, Gangnam-ization of Korean urban development and the hegemony of Korean capitalism, 26.3. 2019, Tuesday, 13.00 - 14.30 Levá rýsovna.

Published Mar 21, 2019

Artificial chemical DNA switch helps understand epigenetic mechanisms

Artificial chemical DNA switch helps understand epigenetic mechanisms

Researchers from the Czech Academy of Sciences and Charles University constructed an artificial chemical DNA switch and made the first step towards artificial epigenetics – targeted switching on and off of genes. Their paper was recently published in the journal Chemical Science.

Published Mar 21, 2019

Carolinum - guided tour (for international students)

Carolinum - guided tour (for international students)

Are you studying at one of the faculties at Charles University? And do you want to see where it all started? You are welcome to join us for a sightseeing guided tour through Carolinum - the historical building of Charles University on March 19th or April 9th at 4:30 p.m. Do not miss this unique opportunity to learn more about the university’s history.

Published Mar 15, 2019

Open Day of Research Infrastructures and Core Facilities

Open Day of Research Infrastructures and Core Facilities

We would like to cordially invite you to the Open Day of Research Infrastructures and Core Facilities which will take place on the April 3rd 2019 at the BIOCEV centre.Deadline for registration is on the March 25th, 2019.

Published Mar 07, 2019