Over the past week Prague was the focus for discussions between experts and businessmen from Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia, about their experiences with the medicinal cannabis market. It’s a global market that’s growing fast and reckoned to be soon worth hundreds of billions of dollars. But the story in the Czech Republic and in many other places is of growing pains and the early expectations not being realised.
The Moravian Amazon, an area along the lower parts of Morava and Dyje rivers in the southern part of the Czech Republic, is considered to be one of the richest habitats in Central Europe. But scientists are ringing alarm bells, warning that the number of old trees in the UNESCO Biosphere area which provide a home to rare species of beetles, are being crowded out and their numbers are rapidly declining.
This Wednesday saw a conference in Prague called I, Robot, (Já, robot) bringing together researchers in both the public and private spheres to debate advances in robotics and artificial intelligence. One of the participants was Olga Afanasyeva, the COO of the Prague-based start-up GoodAI, which has been profiled by publications like The Economist, Forbes and also Radio Prague. Much of the discussion focussed on the future “just around the corner” or already here.
Earlier this year, the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee caused something of a stir with a resolution aiming to grant robots legal status in order to hold them ‘responsible for acts or omissions’. The move caught some off guard in what is quite complex or even uncharted legal territory. Alžběta Krausová, a well-known researcher at the Institute for State and Law at the Czech Academy of Sciences specialising in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence is one who has followed the conversation closely as well as added to it. She
Czech physicist and scientist Armin Delong has died at the age of 92, the ctk news agency reported citing family sources. Professor Delong was the founder of electron microscopy in Czechoslovakia. In 1990, he served briefly in the Czechoslovak government of prime minister Marián Čalfa. Delong created the prototype of the table microscope for which he received the gold medal award at the World EXPO58 in Brussels.
Karina Movsesjan, a high school student from the Czech Republic, received one of the first three prizes in the EU Contest for Young Scientists established by the European Commission. Karina won the award for her research project “The role of RAD51 mutations in cancer development” for which she has already picked up prizes in the Czech Republic and the United States.
In the debate about climate change, climate is often seen as the given – the main factor that is impacting nature and, of course, people. But, it’s a two way street with scientists increasingly aware of how local and regional changes are dramatically changing local environmental conditions and plants and animals as well. And that was the main theme as a host of Czech experts were brought together by the Czech Academy of Science in Prague this week.
The winner of the main category in the European Union Contest for Young
Scientists this year was Karina Movsesjan, an 18-year-old from the Czech
town of Karlovy Vary. Her research was in the field of cancer inception and
explored how a particular protein mutates.
Movsesjan is a student of biotechnology at Masaryk University in Brno. She was one of around 120 teenagers from around the continent who attended this year’s edition of the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in the Estonian capital Tallinn.
Five Czech researchers have been awarded prizes this year by one of the
country’s main grant institutions, the Czech Science Foundation.
The five comprise an informatician, biochemist, astronomer, archaeologist, and a hydro biologist.
Three of the winners are women, which the head of the foundation, Alice Valkárová, said was a promising pointer for the future.
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Czech cannabis market suffers growing pains
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