Professor Jiří Neužil is one of the Czech Republic’s leading specialists in cancer research. His research teams at the Biotechnological Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Griffith University in Australia have focused on a novel approach in the fight against incurable forms of breast cancer: eradicating cancer cells by targeting mitochondria. Should the resulting new drug, now being tested on patients in Prague, prove effective it could lead to a major breakthrough in cancer therapy.
You could be forgiven for mistaking the CyberDog Technology and Information Centre on the outskirts of Prague for a “wine bar”, the futuristic two-storey structure housing it for a “building”, and the resident bartender named “Kuka” for a hermaphrodite robot. Such is the nature of the first project to be realised by the Black N' Arch studio, co-founded by conceptual artist and sculptor David Černý.
A unique, five-year project is currently underway in the Czech Republic, focusing on the long-term impact of air pollution on people living in the heavily-industrial region of north-east Moravia. Over the course of five years, scientists will be comparing the health data of thousands of people from different regions of the country, focusing on those who are most vulnerable to air pollution.
One of the events showcased during this year’s open week at the Czech Academy of Science’s was a contest where young scientists pitted their presenting skills against each other in a bid to entertain and educate the audience about important scientific questions. The event was presented by a man who lies at the forefront of popularising science in the country.
A team of students from the Czech Technical University in Prague have placed second in the prestigious Alexa Prize contest, organised by the US giant Amazon. The aim of the competition is to develop artificial intelligence for Amazon Alexa, capable of chatting with people on popular topics such as movies, sports or music. Along with the prize, the Czech team also picked up a financial award of 100,000 US dollars.
Since the country joined the European Space Agency (ESA) 10 years ago, the Czech space industry has seen a growth both in size and capabilities. Now the director of the Czech Aeronautical Research Institute says the groundwork in expertise and resources has been laid for the country to take the next step.
Czech scientists are using the latest technology to study the ancient roads of the Bohemian kingdom. Unlike Western Europe, the area of present-day Czechia was not colonized by the Romans, who developed a sophisticated network of paved routes or “via Romana”. This means the road system was developed without any earlier blueprints.
The Czech Academy of Sciences has just handed out its annual awards to scientists for outstanding results in research and for promoting and popularising science. The researchers, whose focus of interest ranges from abstract algebraic logic to forest biodiversity, will also share CZK 1 million in prize money.