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On 3 February, the Human Brain Project (HBP) held its annual Open Day at Megaron International Conference Centre in Athens, Greece. The Open Day is the biggest annual outreach event of the HBP and presents the latest developments in neuroscience, computing, and related research infrastructures.
Czech scientists participated in the development of a new test confirming the presence of coronavirus 2019-nCoV in the body. The company TATAA Biocenter (Göteborg, Sweden) in cooperation with the laboratory of prof. M. Kubista from the Institute of Biotechnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Saint James Hospital Malta) has developed a new diagnostic kit. The Red Cross has expressed interest in its use in China.
Veterinary medicine, game keeping and hunting, and wild boars have a common intersection point in an international ethnographic research which has received one of the most prestigious research grants: an ERC Consolidator Grant in the amount of 2 million euros. The author of the research is Luděk Brož from the Institute of Ethnography of the Czech Academy of Sciences. In the next five years, he and his team will focus on conflicts caused by a substantial increase of the wild boar population in Europe and by their subsequent endangerment by the African swine fever virus.
Scientists from the Czech Academy of Sciences have discovered a completely new way of influencing the self-assembly of nanoscopic building blocks - proteins - into cytoskeleton structures, using very short and intense electrical pulses. Noteworthy about this discovery is that pulses can fundamentally affect the nanoscopic shape of the formed structure, either reversibly or irreversibly, depending on the pulse parameter settings.
The joint tireless efforts of Czech chemist Antonín Holý and Belgian virologist Erik De Clercq to develop new antiviral drugs is the theme of the book entitled Cold War Triangle: How Scientists in East and West Tamed HIV by Renilde Loeckx. Its Czech version was launched in Prague on November 12, 2019.
ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, submitted a statement to the European Commission calling for a strong and well-resourced framework programme guided by principles of excellence, fairness and openness, and making concrete suggestions on their implementation in the current draft of the Commission’s Strategic Plan on Horizon Europe.
Launching the call for proposals for the ESFRI Roadmap 2021, Jan Hrušák, Chair of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, called for a new ambition for European science to go beyond the existing frontiers of knowledge and find sustainable solutions to growing global challenges. Speaking at the Roadmap 2021 Info Day on 25 September 2019 in Brussels, organized as part of the European Research and Innovation Days, he underlined that “World-class Research Infrastructures, such as those identified in the ESFRI Roadmap, are essential to help us to reach these goals.’
A new diamond-titanium nanocomposite may help decompose dangerous chemical warfare agents such as Soman in much more effective manner. It was developed in cooperation of scientists from the Czech Academy of Sciences, namely by the teams of Štěpán Stehlík from the Institute of Physics and Jiří Henych from the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, together with the teams of Bohuslav Rezek from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Czech Technical University, Karel Mazanec from the Military Resarch Institute, and Lars Österlund from the Uppsala University.
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission is an internal research centre of the European Union. It has been established in 1957 and is equipped with top laboratories. On Friday, September 20, the Czech Academy of Sciences signed a Memorandum of Understanding with JRC in Ispra, Italy.
The Karel Čapek Center for Values in Science and Technology (CEVAST), formed last year under the Czech Academy of Sciences, is quickly gaining a reputation of a foremost European institution dealing with emerging issues in technology ethics. Most recently, Forbes magazine has taken notice of CEVAST, praising it for „immediately convening important meetings in artificial intelligence and robot ethics“ and calling it “a new hope in Prague.”