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Popular Science: Even bees guard their nests. Or don’t they?

The first association with the word “bee” is usually a swarm of bees in a hive. We won’t talk about these bees – such as honeybees – here today. Bees of the genus Ceratina guard their nests as well. They are commonly known as carpenter bees, since they build their nests in dead stems or sticks with pith. They are solitary, but just as good pollinators as honeybees, even though they are much smaller – only up to eight millimeters. Compared to honeybees, they are also dark without stripes on the abdomen. And it is these carpenter bees that became an interest of entomologists from our Faculty of Science.

Published May 03, 2017

Popular Science: Cuckoos’ Russian Roulette

Cuckoos are known to be notorious brood parasites. The moment the host parent leaves their nest, there comes the cuckoo. Not only does the cuckoo lay her own eggs into the host nest, but she also pushes usually one of the original eggs out. How does the cuckoo choose which egg to remove to improve her offspring’s chances of survival?

Published May 03, 2017

Popular Science: Ubiquitous cyanobacteria and how to treat them

One of the limiting factors of society development is the availability and quality of water. Due to climate change and continual pollution of water resources, it is necessary to intensify efforts to ensure a stable supply of drinking water. A number of processes and technologies used recently are now insufficient, and to ensure high-quality drinking water, it is required to find new methods. For this reason, scientists from the Institute for Environmental Studies are working to improve the methods of water treatment, this time in connection with the increasing occurrence of cyanobacteria and the amount of organic matter produced by them.

Published May 03, 2017

Popular Science: The relationship between abortion and contraception in Czechia and Slovakia

Is there a similar trend in abortions over time in Czechia and Slovakia? How is it influenced by using modern contraceptive methods? How do these states differ in the society’s attitude to abortion? Jiřina Kocourková from the Department of Demography and Geodemography of the Faculty of Science Charles University focused on these and more topics in her article.

Published May 03, 2017

Popular Science: The bigger lizard attacks

Meeting of two monitor lizards might be quite an aggressive business when they want to settle which one is the boss. The conflict is not only dangerous, but also energetically demanding. It would be advantageous to be able to evaluate one’s chances beforehand. In the first ritual phase of monitor lizards’ conflict males, show off to one another. Can they estimate their chances based on their rivals’ size, and choose the right strategy accordingly?

Published May 03, 2017

Popular Science: The microscopic inhabitants of Antarctic waters

Antarctica is, no doubt, the wildest and least explored continent on Earth. In the challenging conditions typical for Antarctic land, few organisms can survive. Although there has been a continuously inhabited station at the South Pole for more than 60 years, not many can say that they visited Antarctica. There are a few from our Faculty of Science, though, and one of them is T. J. Kohler of the Department of Ecology. In his case it was the McMurdo Dry Valley and Ross Island in eastern part of Antarctica (situated approximately across from New Zealand).

Published May 03, 2017

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