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Popular Science: Mysterious mercury-changing organisms under the Greenland Glacier are still eluding scientists

The vast ice masses on our planet are melting. The danger of the rising level of the world’s oceans is much talked about. One of the gigantic continental glaciers that is currently losing its volume is the Greenland Ice Sheet. If the entire Greenland Ice Sheet melted, the level of the world’s oceans would rise by up to 7 meters. But is this the only danger? A disturbing new discovery was made during the research undertaken by an international team led by Jon Hawkings from Florida State University, in which a group of experts from the Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, led by Mark Stibal, also played a significant role. The danger is not only in the amount of water, but also in the presence of toxic substances in the melting waters.

Published Aug 23, 2021

Popular Science: The journey of Mars to methane and (much) farther

Curiosity is not only an important cosmic rover but also a common human emotion associated with discovering the unknown. While we are witnessing the first steps of cosmic tourism, space and its chemistry are still veiled by many questions. One of the big mysteries was the origin of methane detected by Curiosity on Mars. On Earth, methane is mostly of biological origin (its source is mostly living organisms), but could that be possible on the lifeless red planet? Prof. Svatopluk Civiš and Mgr. Antonín Knížek, two Czech scientists from J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry and Faculty of Science, Charles University, decided to embark on a journey to find the answer to this question.

Published Aug 11, 2021

4EU+ Course „Urban Regulations and Political Memory: Towards understanding Spatio-Temporal aspects of Urban Development”

An international, interdisciplinary course organised by three 4EU+ member universities: University of Warsaw, University of Milan, Charles University, as part of the 4EU+ joint educational offer during the academic year 2021/2022. The students will be selected based on their CV and motivation letter. The deadline for sending the documents is 8th September, 2021.

Published Jul 23, 2021

Direct Insight into the Life of Roots

The team led by Matyáš Fendrych from the Faculty of Science, Charles University has recently published a study in Nature Plants. With support from a prestigious grant provided by the European Research Council (ERC), the team focused on a precise analysis of the rapid reaction of plant root cells to the phytohormone auxin. The study also involved colleagues from Prague’s University of Chemistry and Technology as well as from the University of Tasmania.

Published Jul 20, 2021

Popular Science: Focus on litter decomposition

Sulfur and nitrogen deposition has significantly affected the ecosystems of the entire northern hemisphere. The impact of acid rain has had a significant effect in terms of lowering water pH and leaching of important ions from the soil into surface waters, as well as in terms of the decomposition rate of plant litter and thus on the global carbon cycle. The decomposition rate is influenced by several factors. How does the type of substrate and nitrogen addition contribute to the decomposition process? This is the question that Michal Růžek from the Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University asked, and together with his team he made an experiment that yielded interesting results.

Published Jul 12, 2021

Popular Science: Vampire squid tales, or how they came to their deep-water habitat

An international scientific team led by Associate Professor Košťák from the Department of Geology and Paleontology, Faculty of Science, Charles University has published a study in the Communications Biology journal describing an interesting fossil from the Hungarian Museum of Natural History. The work brings expands our knowledge of today’s deep-water vampire squids. Prof. Holcová and Dr. Mazuch from the same institute and Dr. Culka from the Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Mineral Resources, Faculty of Science, Charles University collaborated on this article.

Published Jul 06, 2021

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