Doctor: I’m one of the fortunate generation

Author : Pavla Hubálková
Photo: Martin Pinkas
Friday, 23 April 2021 09:57

“When I started, the chances of curing the most common types of paediatric leukaemia were around 20 percent – today it is up to 90 percent. Not every doctor gets to live to see that,” says Professor Jan Starý, a paediatric haematologist at Charles University’s Second Faculty of Medicine and Motol University Hospital. 

The chief, the Amazon & waters of the world

Author : Marcela Uhlíková
Photo: Hynek Glos
Sunday, 11 April 2021 21:40

In jest, he says that a recent Amazon exhibition in Prague’s Carolinum came together only by accident, after he came across a box containing Peru’s highest state honour while cleaning up. Back in 2007, Charles University’s Bohumír Janský became the first foreigner to receive the honour.

Ancient rotunda - A gem at the Faculty of Math and Physics

Author : Martin Rychlík
Photo: CU, NPÚ, Martin Frouz
Thursday, 08 April 2021 08:53

A new book provides a fascinating look at how restoration teams revived a unique rotunda from the 11th century (dedicated to St. Wenceslas). The book was edited by Jarmila Čiháková and Martin Müller and published by the National Heritage Institute.

Einstein in Prague - The path to discovery

Photo: Martin Pinkas, Shutterstock, archive
Monday, 05 April 2021 10:47

It has been 110 years since Albert Einstein arrived in Prague for his tenure as a professor of theoretical physics – 16 months in his life that were often overlooked. Einstein in Bohemia by historian Michael D. Gordin changes earlier perceptions, showing that it was in Prague that Einstein shifted full-time to the study of gravity.

Study: Many expectant mothers lean towards home birth

Author : Jitka Jiřičková
Photo: interviewee archives/CPA/Shutterstock
Thursday, 11 March 2021 07:49

The debate over whether to give birth in hospital or at home is one that has continued in the Czech Republic for years. Sociologist Anna Pospěch Durnová wanted to get to the heart of the issue and headed extensive research to find out what influenced expectant mothers' decisions. 

A whale named Ilga

Author : Marcela Uhlíková
Photo: Vladimír Šigut
Friday, 19 February 2021 07:55

It was apparent that the complete but darkened skeleton of a small whale at the Museum of Human and Comparative Anatomy would eventually fall apart. But restorers achieved something remarkable: returning the skeleton – one of only two in the Czech Republic – to its former glory, while also preserving soft tissue. The team was headed by anthropologist and anatomist Andrej Shbat.

Look who's listening: How babies learn languages

Author : Pavla Hubálková
Photo: Vladimír Šigut
Sunday, 14 February 2021 12:57

Kateřina Chládková is one of the few researchers in the world who study the earliest stages of language acquisition, which means she is often in contact with babies – even in the maternity ward. Her aim is to find out how we learn to speak from the very first moments of life.

Czechs help discover remarkable six-star system

Author : Martin Rychlík
Photo: NASA, Petr Zasche
Friday, 12 February 2021 08:46

TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has been searching the sky for exoplanets outside our solar system since 2018. Charles University’s Petr Zasche was part of the international team that made a new sensational find: an eclipsing six-star system.

What rats dream about in their sleep - and why it matters

Author : Pavla Hubálková
Photo: Hynek Glos
Sunday, 24 January 2021 17:50

Sleep is Karel Blahna’s focus of research. At the Biomedical Center at Charles University’s Faculty of Medicine in Plzeň, he looks into how the brain’s sleep activity changes in sickness and health. He was able to put together a team and conduct research thanks to support from CU’s Primus programme.

CU team helping to develop effective leishmaniasis vaccine

Author : Marcela Uhlíková
Photo: Michal Novotný, Jovana Sádlová, Petr Volf
Friday, 22 January 2021 10:52

A team of Czech parasitologists from CU’s Faculty of Science has been working with researchers from Great Britain, Israel, and Canada to develop an effective vaccine preventing against leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease transmitted by sand flies. The results of their study were published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

Mysterious engineers of the ecosystem

Author : Pavla Hubálková
Photo: Aleš Buček's personal archive
Tuesday, 19 January 2021 10:17

There are more than 3‚000 species of termites, and their combined mass is greater than the combined mass of all human beings on the planet. They’re best known as pests that can gnaw through your house, but only in recent years has more research been done into their significance for the ecosystem.

Even though vaccination for Covid-19 has begun in the Czech Republic, there are still many people who remain sceptical and have expressed fear or doubts. Anyone among the broader public wanting to view a serious debate on the matter should look up a discussion that was live this week organised by the Neuron Endowment Fund.

Welcome to the machine

Photo: Luboš Wišniewski
Thursday, 17 December 2020 09:39

Petr Plecháč, completing a Ph.D. at Charles University, made world headlines with his analysis of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII. It was long accepted that the play was co-authored by playwright John Fletcher, but Plecháč’s study – using machine learning – analysed word frequency patterns and rhythms to provide further evidence that the play was a collaborative effort. Henry VIII was not written by Shakespeare alone.

Much of the focus of IDEA, a think-tank of the Economics Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, which is part of CERGE-EI, is tied this year to the novel coronavirus, and anti-Covid measures. However, that is far from its only activity: this week the think tank hosted an online conference examining the influence of public policy on labour markets.

Stanislav Kmoch: Know-how made testing for Covid safer

Photo: René Volfík, GeneSpector archive
Thursday, 10 September 2020 19:09

For 30 years Professor Stanislav Kmoch has devoted himself to the research of rare diseases; during the coronavirus pandemic, his laboratory was able to apply significant know-how in the development of new diagnostic kits for the detection of Covid-19.

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