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.

Neuron broadcast with CU experts focuses on vaccines

Photo: Hynek Glos, Neuron NF
Friday, 15 January 2021 09:49

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.

Scientist Radek Lučan on bats’ remarkable immunity

Photo: Vladimír Šigut, Shutterstock
Wednesday, 29 July 2020 21:27

A number of deadly viruses are believed to have originated in bats, including Ebola and the original SARS. The indications are that the novel coronavirus SARS-Cov-2 also made the jump from bats, most likely through an intermediary species.

BIOCEV's Ruth Tachezy: Taking aim at the unexpected

Photo: Luboš Wišniewski, Ivo Wondráček
Friday, 24 July 2020 11:43

f the novel coronavirus had never hit, Ruth Tachezy would have been doing other things: applying for funding, heading a national reference laboratory, and publishing. She would have been helping her students at the Faculty of Science and would have been preparing for an upcoming conference and a mountaineering vacation. Instead, she opted to tackle a higher “mountain”.

The secret of binary star V1309

Photo: Luboš Wišniewski
Thursday, 23 July 2020 11:11

Last year, three young researchers at Charles University won the Neuron Prize for promising scientists in the Czech Republic. One of them was astrophysicist Ondřej Pejcha, an expert on binary stars who studied at CU and at Princeton University.

Mathematician Zdeněk Dvořák: Inspired by the real world

Photo: Vladimír Šigut
Thursday, 09 July 2020 19:38

“Most of my work still takes place on paper,” says theoretical mathematician Zdeněk Dvořák from the Computer Science Institute of Charles University. He focuses on combinatorics, graph theory, and theoretical informatics, and he received the ERC CZ Consolidator Grant for his research.

Alessandro Testa: Researching the revival of religiosity

Photo: Hynek Glos, Alessandro Testa archive
Wednesday, 10 June 2020 12:36

Italian scientist Alessandro Testa has already written three book-length monographs. The works, published in Italian, focus on the relationship between ancient myths and modern mythology, folk carnivals and the history of religiosity in the region he himself comes from.

Ecologist Marek Stibal takes on Greenland challenge

Photo: Marie Bulínová, Guillaume Lamarche-Gagnon
Tuesday, 12 May 2020 14:00

“I have actually never done anything else,” is how Marek Stibal, who has been studying biological processes in glacial ecosystems for almost 20 years.

How long can the coronavirus survive on different surfaces?

Photo: Shutterstock
Tuesday, 12 May 2020 14:00

An investigation into the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has examined how long it can survive on different surfaces. If someone touches a contaminated item – a set of keys, their phone, or even cash – can they get sick?

Scientists target economic impact of Covid-19

Photo: CERGEI-EI, Shutterstock
Tuesday, 12 May 2020 14:00

A team of scientists from the Institute for Democracy & Economic Analysis (IDEA) has offered its expertise to try and curb the negative economic impact of coronavirus pandemic.

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