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Norwegian Funds-supported projects presented on Faculty grounds in the presence of the Norwegian Ambassador

Three research projects supported by the Norwegian Funds, two in the “Environment” priority area and one in the “Health” priority area, were presented to teachers, students and community visitors as part of a FoS conference that took place in The Big Geology Auditorium on 10 November.


                Podpořeno grantem z Norska. / Supported by grant from Norway



The opening speech by FoS Dean Professor RNDr. Bohuslav Gaš was followed by an address from Mrs. Siri Sletner, the Norwegian Ambassador to the Czech Republic. Her Excellency highlighted the importance of linking excellent research teams at international level and appreciated the fact that the projects conducted by the Faculty of Science staff (on the Czech side) are part of important priority areas, i.e. Health and the Environment.

All event photos available HERE.


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FoS Dean Professor Bohuslav Gaš and the Ambassador of Norway to the Czech Republic, Her Excellency Mrs. Siri Sletner. Photo by Radek Lüftner.


The objectives, structure and the first outcomes of the project titled “3D yeast colony genomics: A model for cancer progression and development of drug resistance in biofilms” were presented by Professor RNDr. Zdena Palková, CSc. of the FoS Department of Genetics and Microbiology (Biology Section). Professor Palková explained the key objectives of research efforts focused on complex 3D structures of yeast cell colonies (including genomics and transcriptomics) and updated the audience on the latest developments in research projects conducted, on the Czech side, by Professor Palková´s FoS laboratory and Dr. Váchová´s laboratory at the Czech Science Academy Institute of Microbiology. Next generation sequencing methods to be provided by the Norwegian partner, will make it possible to extend the research focused on differentiation of colonies in the areas of genomics and transcriptomics.

Norwegian partner: Sequencing Centre, University Hospital in Oslo, Dr. Gregor Gilfillan


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Prof. Zdena Palková of the FoS Department of Genetics and Microbiology. Photo by Radek Lüftner.



The next presenter, Professor RNDr. Petr Štěpnička, Ph.D. from the Department of Inorganic Chemistry (Chemistry Section), presented one of the projects falling under the "Environment" priority area, "Phosphine ligands for environmentally friendly C-C bond forming reactions". This research project is focused on the design of new ligands for practically important catalytic processes, taking into the account the so-called E-factor (environmental factor that reflects the production of waste per kilogram of the product) and the absolute quantity of the produced waste. In particular, these parameters are highly unfavourable in small-scale production of specialty chemicals, including pharmaceuticals. The "green" postulates of current chemistry therefore call for use of alternative synthetic methods, e.g. for the use of effective, reusable catalysts. Such substances may well include phosphine-ferrocene ligands modified by amide-sulfonate groups. These new molecules will be prepared by the Czech team and then implemented to a theoretical concept that is being developed by the Norwegian partner.


Norwegian partner: University of Bergen (Professor Vidar Remi Jensen)



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Prof. RNDr. Petr Štěpnička, Ph.D. of the FoS Department of Inorganic Chemistry.  Photo by Radek Lüftner.



The last presentation, "Utilisation of long-term (passive) sampling methods combined with in situ microcosms for the assessment of (bio)degradation potential", was delivered by Doc. RNDr. Tomáš Cajthaml, Ph.D. of the FoS Environmental Institute. Conducted in cooperation with Dekonta, a Czech-based company, this project is centred around the utilisation of passive soil-sampling devices, i.e. passive samplers used in decontamination-related explorations (primarily groundwater subject to historical environmental impacts). Passive samplers make it possible to characterise soil processes in terms of chemical and microbiological aspects.

Hexavalent chromium, one of the most significant toxic pollutants, is highly mobile in groundwater. Our aim is to reduce hexavalent chromium to trivalent chromium that is non-toxic and immobile. Another project directly supported by the Norwegian funds is focused on groundwater decontamination by chlorinated ethylenes. Chlorinated ethylenes can be reduced by some types of anaerobic bacteria whose multiplication, however, is prevented by the presence of hexavalent chromium.

Groundwater can be decontaminated by injecting nano-iron (fairly expensive, though). Injection of whey as a medium for multiplication of soil microorganisms able to reduce hexavalent chromium facilitates the entire decontamination process. The soil microflora is analysed by means of new-generation sequenation methods. An accurate analysis of the soil chemistry dynamics and the microbiological characteristics of soil and groundwater will make it possible to optimise investments in (relatively expensive) nano-iron.  

Norwegian partner: ALS Norway


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Prof. RNDr. Tomáš Cajthaml, Ph.D. of the FoS Environmental Institute. Photo by Radek Lüftner.


The conference was attended by a large number of FoS teachers and students, as well as by community visitors.

Event photos are available HERE.



Podpořeno grantem z Norska. / Supported by grant from Norway



Published: Nov 19, 2015 10:55 AM

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