News from UP

Foreign students of the GLODEP programme from twenty-seven countries graduated from the Faculty of Science

News: Faculty of Science - Tue, 13/07/2021 - 08:00

Thirty-four graduates of the two-year masters programme International Development Studies – GLODEP from twenty-seven countries graduated in the auditorium of the Faculty of Science, and three additional students took part online. Seven graduates from last year also took part in the graduation ceremony, as ceremonies were not held in 2020 due to epidemic measures.

“Studying abroad was a big challenge for me. We had the opportunity to study in the Czech Republic, France, and Italy and meet people of different nationalities. I would like to use my experience in the future to work in government or elsewhere in the public sector. I would like to participate in the creation of legislative rules that would lead to an improvement in the situation in our country,” described Rafal Roshdy Ramadan Mohamed from Egypt.

Kazuma Yabe from Japan also intends to use his experience from his studies. “Thanks to interdisciplinary subjects, I was able to deepen my knowledge of development issues and at the same time expand my skills in quantitative analysis. I would like to apply the experience gained in development practice. At the same time, the friendships I made during my studies are important to me: they are for life.”

The Department of Development & Environmental Studies was in charge of organising graduations. “We did not want the parents and family members of graduating students to lose out on this exceptional social event. For the first time, we managed to organise graduations online. The livestream took place in real time all over the world. To date, over a thousand people have seen the broadcast,” said Simona Šafaříková, director of the programme at Palacký University.

This year’s graduations did not take place in robes for hygienic reasons. A unifying element was a special scarf with the student’s name and the GLODEP logo. “The students designed the scarves themselves and had them made in Ghana, where one of our students comes from. When the scarves were made, they were sent to each one separately. I was very pleased that all the students brought them to graduation, it looked very nice. It united an otherwise diverse group of people dressed in different formal wear,” added Šafaříková.

The GLODEP study programme offers students the opportunity to study at three European universities which implement programmes in the field of development studies and development economics. In addition to Palacký University, these are the University of Clermont Auvergne (France) and the University of Pavia (Italy). The aim of the programme is to prepare students for work in the field of development policies which contribute to solving current problems at international, national, and local levels. Non-European universities are also involved in the cooperation (i.e. the Royal University of Bhutan and the University of Hassan II Casablanca in Morocco).

Categories: News from UP

Mourning the passing of Tomáš Zábranský, UP alumnus and world expert in his field

News: Faculty of Science - Fri, 09/07/2021 - 14:47

Tomáš Zábranský, M.D., Ph.D, graduate of the UP Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, epidemiologist and addictionologist, one of the founders of the field of addictology in the Czech Republic, died at the age of 52 early this July. 
Tomáš Zábranský was born in 1969 in Hranice na Moravě. He graduated from the UP Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry in 1993 with a degree in General Medicine and received his doctorate from the same faculty in the field of epidemiology, hygiene, and preventive medicine. He also taught courses in drug abuse epidemiology for pre-graduate students at the Department of Public Health of our alma mater. 
His main research interests were drug abuse epidemiology and associated morbidity and mortality. He also dedicated himself to the study of legal and illegal drug markets and the evaluation of drug policies. In his final years he intensively devoted himself to the area of therapeutic use of cannabis and cannabinoids. He was one of the initiators and proponents of cannabis therapy here, and to a great degree was responsible for its adoption in the Czech Republic.
From 1999–2001, he was at the birth of the drug information system in the Czech Republic and the foundation of the National Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Addiction. He was the lead investigator of the PAD study, which Investigated the impacts of revisions in drug legislation in the Czech Republic after 1998, the result of which led to recodification of criminal drug offenses in the new criminal law statutes of 2009.
From 2003–2004 was in the USA on a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and was also a collaborating researcher at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the RAND Drug Policy Research Center think tank.
In 2005, he was at the founding of the field of addictology and the Department of Addictology (originally the Addictology Centre), at the First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and the General University Hospital in Prague, where he also taught.
He was the head of the ResAd research and advisory group and worked throughout the world as an expert on introducing systems of monitoring drug situations and modifications of drug policies. He was especially active in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (the BUMAD, SCAD, CADAP projects). He worked with UN agencies, and in Europe especially with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), where he also was a member of its advisory board since 2016, nominated by the European Parliament. 
He was the main organiser of the international conferences Urban Drug Policy (2009) and Medical Cannabis Conference 2015. He also took part in the foundation and operations of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI) in Prague.
From 2006–2016, he served as an external advisor to members of the Czech government – ministers Ivan Langer and Svatopluk Němeček, and prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka.
He was the author of more than a hundred publications in peer-reviewed journals and monographs and the author of two scientific books. He was the deputy editor of the impact journal Harm Reduction Journal, a member of the editorial board of the impact journal Journal of Drug Issues and the Czech scientific journal Adiktologie, and also a member of several Czech professional associations, the International Think Tank for Analysis of Drug Policy (UK) and the Independent Reference Group to the United Nations on HIV and Injecting Drug Use.
His other interests included translation, modern and classical music, literature, and photography. From 1993–98 he translated 22 books of prose and fiction from English into Czech, most often in tandem with UP alumnus David Záleský; the duo received the national Jungmann Prize for Translation for their inventive translation of John Lennon’s Skywriting by Word of Mouth (Nanebepění).
In 2017 he suffered an injury, from whose repercussions he never fully recovered.
Tomáš Zábranský made an indelible mark in the field of addictology in the Czech Republic, he was highly active and prominent in the field internationally, and significantly contributed to making Czech addictology and drug abuse epidemiology visible on the international level.
His legacy lives on!

Doc. MUDr. Viktor Mravčík, Ph.D., fellow student, close friend and fellow co-worker, head of the National Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Addiction
Doc. MUDr. Helena Kollárová, Ph.D., head of the Department of Public Health, UP Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Categories: News from UP

Experientia Foundation to support young scientist from the Faculty of Science

News: Faculty of Science - Fri, 09/07/2021 - 11:04

Soňa Krajčovičová from the Faculty of Science is one of this year’s two grant recipients from the Experientia Foundation of the Dvořák couple. The foundation supports young scientists in the field of organic, bioorganic and medicinal chemistry on Czech and foreign internships. The talented scientist has recently travelled for a one-year internship to the University of Cambridge, where she wants to focus on a methodology which will make it possible to prepare multifunctional compounds for the development of a new generation of targeted drugs.

“Receiving the grant means a lot to me, both personally and professionally. It’s a great opportunity that only a few ever get, so I appreciate it all the more. Mr and Mrs Dvořák are fine people, I have been admiring them for many years for what they do for Czech science. At the same time, however, they are very modest and down-to-earth, which is an almost unheard of phenomenon these days. The Experientia Foundation scholarship is a very prestigious affair and in our field it is often the only way a young scientist can look to going abroad after completing their doctoral studies in order to gain necessary scientific experience. That is why I am very glad that I could be one of the awarded scholarship holders this year,” said Krajčovičová.

Soňa Krajčovičová’s project is based on the preparation of spatially locked peptide compounds, which will use the method of ‘stapling’ the peptide to introduce several useful substances into the molecule, such as small organic molecules. This will allow the preparation of multifunctional, biologically interesting compounds. “In the project, I came up with some ideas on how to prepare these substances. It looks simple at first glance, but these are really very complex organic compounds, which usually bring complications in synthesis with them. However, it is a creative challenge for me, and I enjoy challenges,” described the award-winning scientist in the field of organic chemistry.

Soňa Krajčovičová received a scholarship worth 945,000 CZK (37,000 euros) from the Experientia Foundation, thanks to which she will complete a one-year internship abroad at the University of Cambridge in Great Britain, where she has been working in the group under Prof David Spring since July of this year. “Beginnings are difficult everywhere, but I believe I will quickly integrate into the group. I have respect for this prestigious university and certainly am not taking this opportunity for granted. I will try to spread not only the good name of the Experientia Foundation, but also that of the Department of Organic Chemistry at the Palacký University Faculty of Science,” added Krajčovičová.

Categories: News from UP

Each of us should be responsible: A reminder from the UP Rector, with wishes for a beautiful summer

News: Faculty of Science - Fri, 02/07/2021 - 11:30

Dear colleagues and students,

The end of the summer semester is nearing, one which was again drastically influenced by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. I would like to thank all of you for how you coped with this unusual situation and how thanks to your service, enthusiasm, and conscientiousness, we managed to get through another non-traditional semester – all the way to its successful end. I believe that next semester we will again greet each other at the university face to face; however to do so, each of us must contribute their own dose of responsibility.

The holidays are before us, and many of us will be travelling at home and abroad. I hope that you will soak up a much-deserved rest after the difficult year of Covid. At the same time, as a doctor and rector, I have one important request: let’s please continue to be responsible, and not succumb to a general happy feeling that we have the pandemic safely behind us.

The number of infected people has been slowly rising in recent days and the devious delta mutation leads us to believe that Covid-19 is something that we will encounter for some time to come. And it is already clear that how the university will fare in the autumn must depend upon how we approach the situation now: in the summer. It is entirely up to us.

This is why for these months and the months to come, we have decided to launch the campaign Responsible Palacký. And I would be enormously happy if everyone of us became “responsible Palackýs”. We can distil the main message into five points:

  1. For anyone who can, please get vaccinated. It’s the only way to strengthen our collective immunity.
  2. If it is not possible to get fully vaccinated during the summer, remember that it is necessary after returning from our holidays and before returning to work to get tested for Covid-19, and to follow all the rules and recommendations of our own Ministry of Health and those abroad.
  3. Let’s wear face masks wherever it is necessary, both at the university (aside from one’s own office) and away from the university.
  4. Let us not underestimate any symptoms of respiratory trouble.
  5. Let’s not forget that one of the most effective and simplest tactics in the fight against Covid-19 is to maintain the sensible measures of:
    • hand sanitising;
    • face masks;
    • distance (at least 2 metres);
    • common sense;
    • mutual respect.

Let’s all contribute, in order not to have to repeat last year’s scenario, and do all that we can so that we can return to university life in September: the way it used to be, and which we have missed so much. Let’s try to sensibly maintain the anti-epidemic measures and to communicate their importance to others. Let’s motivate others to be as responsible as we are. And as to whether we begin the winter semester in person or online, it really all depends on whether we are able to keep our summer merrymaking within sensible limits.

Many thanks for your cooperation, and that together, we will further the responsible reputation of the Palacký University Olomouc community.

Respectfully,

Martin Procházka

Categories: News from UP

Each of us should be responsible: A reminder from the UP Rector, with wishes for a beautiful summer

News: Faculty of Science - Fri, 02/07/2021 - 11:30

Dear colleagues and students,

The end of the summer semester is nearing, one which was again drastically influenced by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. I would like to thank all of you for how you coped with this unusual situation and how thanks to your service, enthusiasm, and conscientiousness, we managed to get through another non-traditional semester – all the way to its successful end. I believe that next semester we will again greet each other at the university face to face; however to do so, each of us must contribute their own dose of responsibility.

The holidays are before us, and many of us will be travelling at home and abroad. I hope that you will soak up a much-deserved rest after the difficult year of Covid. At the same time, as a doctor and rector, I have one important request: let’s please continue to be responsible, and not succumb to a general happy feeling that we have the pandemic safely behind us.

The number of infected people has been slowly rising in recent days and the devious delta mutation leads us to believe that Covid-19 is something that we will encounter for some time to come. And it is already clear that how the university will fare in the autumn must depend upon how we approach the situation now: in the summer. It is entirely up to us.

This is why for these months and the months to come, we have decided to launch the campaign Responsible Palacký. And I would be enormously happy if everyone of us became “responsible Palackýs”. We can distil the main message into five points:

  1. For anyone who can, please get vaccinated. It’s the only way to strengthen our collective immunity.
  2. If it is not possible to get fully vaccinated during the summer, remember that it is necessary after returning from our holidays and before returning to work to get tested for Covid-19, and to follow all the rules and recommendations of our own Ministry of Health and those abroad.
  3. Let’s wear face masks wherever it is necessary, both at the university (aside from one’s own office) and away from the university.
  4. Let us not underestimate any symptoms of respiratory trouble.
  5. Let’s not forget that one of the most effective and simplest tactics in the fight against Covid-19 is to maintain the sensible measures of:
    • hand sanitising;
    • face masks;
    • distance (at least 2 metres);
    • common sense;
    • mutual respect.

Let’s all contribute, in order not to have to repeat last year’s scenario, and do all that we can so that we can return to university life in September: the way it used to be, and which we have missed so much. Let’s try to sensibly maintain the anti-epidemic measures and to communicate their importance to others. Let’s motivate others to be as responsible as we are. And as to whether we begin the winter semester in person or online, it really all depends on whether we are able to keep our summer merrymaking within sensible limits.

Many thanks for your cooperation, and that together, we will further the responsible reputation of the Palacký University Olomouc community.

Respectfully,

Martin Procházka

Categories: News from UP

Workshop will reveal organization and functioning of genetic information in plants

News: Faculty of Science - Thu, 01/07/2021 - 08:00

Scientists and students dealing with plant hereditary information will meet in Olomouc in mid-September at The Czech Plant Nucleus Workshop 2021. The meeting, which aims to share the latest scientific knowledge, will take place September 14 - 15 in Fort Science. Registration has already started.

 

This is the first workshop in the Czech Republic, which will bring together experts focused on studying the cell nucleus and chromosomes. At this two-day meeting, they will have a unique opportunity to establish contacts and collaboration.

 

"At the workshop, we will address the issue of plant genetic information, which is the control center of the cell. For example, we will deal with how this center can turn thousands of genes on and off, or how it recognizes that it has been damaged and can repair itself on the fly," says one of the organizers Aleš Pečinka from the Institute of Experimental Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the Center of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research.

 

According to him, this knowledge is key not only for a deeper knowledge of the world of plants and further research, but can also play a crucial role in the future in breeding of more resistant plants with new properties.

 

The workshop is organized by a group of scientists from the Institute of Experimental Botany of ASCR, the Biological Center of the ASCR, Masaryk University and Charles University. Interested professionals and students may register by July 24, 2021 on olomouc.ueb.cas.cz/en/cpnw2021, where detailed information can also be found.

Categories: News from UP

Please participate in the survey Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on University Students

News: Faculty of Science - Mon, 28/06/2021 - 14:51

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of our lives, and we will be dealing with its effects for many years to come. Czech higher education is no exception in this respect. The Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic is kindly asking students to participate in a survey to help gather information about the situation in higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey is intended for students of public and private universities in the Czech Republic in all types of study programmes (i.e. Bachelor’s, follow-up Master’s, Master’s and doctoral study programmes). The survey is divided into two parts. The main goal of the first part is to obtain information about your views on study and living conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second part contains questions that will help us to better evaluate the results of the survey.

The questionnaire is fully ANONYMOUS. It is not possible to identify anyone through any of the questions; however we will leave it up to you to decide whether you want to provide us with the data in the second part of the questionnaire. At the same time, we emphasise that the aim of the survey is NOT to evaluate individual universities, but to gain a general view of the situation in the field of higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will take about 5 minutes to complete the questionnaire. 

The survey will be open until 16 July 2021.

Thank you for your time!

Online questionnaire

Categories: News from UP

Scientists develop first lead-free perovskite luminescent solar concentrator

News: Faculty of Science - Thu, 24/06/2021 - 08:00

The first transparent luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) based on lead-free perovskite nanocrystals was developed by scientists from the Czech Advanced Technology and Research Institute (CATRIN) in collaboration with colleagues from University of Erlangen–Nuremberg, Germany; Brno University of Technology;  and VSB – Technical University of Ostrava. The unique solution overcomes the disadvantages of the existing perovskite solar energy devices, namely the presence of lead and low stability.

Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are devices capable of absorbing sunlight and concentrating it at their edges, where it is subsequently converted into electrical energy by means of a built-in solar cell. “The main idea behind the whole LSCs concept is energy self-sufficient buildings, where their generally large glass areas are efficiently used to generate electricity. Thanks to the highly luminescent and colloidally stable perovskite nanocrystals developed in our Photoelectrochemistry group, we were able to construct a sufficiently transparent solar concentrator that resembles a classical window with its parameters,” explained the study’s correspondent author Štěpán Kment. The article was published by the Journal of the American Chemical Society—ACS Applied Energy Materials.

Another major advantage of the new LSC is the absence of lead, which is still dominantly used in this type of perovskite nanocrystals and brings significant environmental and health complications. “For this new type of LSC, we have achieved very promising efficiencies and good photostability. This work was possible mainly due to the excellent domestic and foreign cooperation with our colleagues from University of Erlangen–Nuremberg, Germany, and Brno University of Technology. My big thanks also go to the Endowment Fund of Palacký University, which largely funded my stay in Erlangen in Professor Schmuki and Professor Brabec’s group,” said the first author of the paper and Ph.D. student of physical chemistry at the Faculty of Science of UP Lukáš Zdražil.

The research team also drew on their experience with the LSC design from last year. The authors then used a different kind of luminescent 0D nanomaterials—carbon dots—to produce tandem LSC. The results were published by Nanoscale.

Luminescent solar concentrators are a major step to creating a sustainable and renewable network of photovoltaic power plants embedded in glass-walled areas of urban buildings. This could contribute to increasing the use of solar energy without unnecessary interference with the landscape.

Categories: News from UP

Shanghai Ranking 2022: UP tops Czech universities in Material Sciences again

News: Faculty of Science - Wed, 23/06/2021 - 13:00

For the sixth time Palacký University Olomouc has been included in the international university ranking by Quacquarelli Symonds. In the current edition of the QS World University Rankings 2022, UP is ranked in 601st–650th place; among the top 5 universities domestically. The Olomouc university has also been listed in this year’s Shanghai Ranking, which ranks global universities by subjects. UP has successfully defended its first place domestically in Material Sciences.

The organisers of the QS World University Rankings, one of the most prestigious rankings in the world, assessed 1,673 universities this year and featured 1,300 of them in the publication. Universities were evaluated according to six metrics. The greatest importance (40%) is given to Academic Reputation; other indicators include Employer Reputation (10%), Faculty/Student Ratio (20%), Citations per Faculty (20%), International Faculty Ratio (5%), and International Student Ratio (5%). Compared to previous year (591st–600th position), UP has slightly dropped, but 300 universities were added to this year’s ranking.

UP saw a slight rise in the ranking of International Student Ratio (552nd this year, 557th last year), whereas it fell in International Faculty Ratio (430th last year, 601st this year) and Faculty/Student Ratio (366th last year, 416th this year).

 

Rankings: a tool for strategic management

According to Michal Malacka, Vice-Rector for Strategy and External Relations, international rankings are – despite certain reservations – part of the university’s strategic management. “For example, QS and THE, as the world’s most renowned rankings, receive great attention and inspire responses at universities, among employers, and in political circles. They can often be an impetus for various intensive ‘excellence initiatives’ to improve ranking positions, and sometimes are reflected in the national strategy and legislative changes. Whether we like it or not, we must not allow ourselves to miss the boat. Therefore, my thanks go to all those who understand the need to secure the evaluation processes and contribute to positive results,” said Malacka with regard to the latest achievement.

 

 

A total of 15 domestic universities can be found in the QS ranking this year, three times more than three years ago. In a year-on-year comparison, however, most of them are worse off. The best university in domestic rankings is Charles University in Prague, followed by the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, Czech Technical University in Prague, and by Masaryk University in Brno. As in previous years, the world ranking is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The overall scores are available at QS World University Rankings 2022: Top Global Universities | Top Universities.

“Every evaluation, every ranking has its merits but also its limitations. We need to learn to read the data from the rankings in an effective way and be able to exploit them, and at the same time implement an efficient data collection process. Academic management needs to be prepared to work with appropriate indexes and indicators so that we do not get isolated with respect to future developments due to being unacquainted with the environment. It is also necessary to have appropriate system tools at hand and know how to use them,” the Vice-Rector added.

 

First place in the material and agricultural sciences

By contrast, the Global Ranking of Academic Subject, published by the Shanghai Ranking, examines 54 fields related to the natural sciences, life sciences, medical sciences, and social sciences. The resulting ranking includes 1,800 universities from 93 countries, including eleven institutions from the Czech Republic.

Among Czech schools, Charles University was the best, being listed in the rankings of 22 subjects. Masaryk University was listed in eleven and Palacký University in seven subjects. The best ranking of the oldest Moravian university from Olomouc was achieved in Agricultural Sciences: the 151st-200th place in the world, sharing domestic superiority with the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague. As last year, UP also holds the first position in the domestic ranking in Material Science & Engineering, where it is ranked 301st to 400th in world competition. UP occupies the same position globally also in Ecology, whereas in Physics it ranks 201st to 300th. UP is in the top 100 in Chemistry and Public Health, and unlike the previous year, it was not listed in Biological Sciences. You can read more here.

Categories: News from UP

More than five hundred geologists to attend international conference on sedimentology

News: Faculty of Science - Thu, 17/06/2021 - 14:00

Over five hundred geologists will attend the 35th IAS Meeting of Sedimentology, which will be organised in the Czech Republic for the first time in the history of the International Association of Sedimentologists (IAS). Foreign and Czech experts will meet on June 21–25 to deal with the processes of formation and development of sedimentary rocks, which are nature’s archive, capturing changes in climate, the environment, the chemical composition of the oceans, and the development of life in the geological past. The conference is organised by a team of geologists from many Czech institutions under the leadership of the Department of Geology, UP Faculty of Science.

“We have been preparing for this conference for about four years. It was supposed to take place in Prague last year, but due to the unfavourable epidemiological situation, in November 2020 we made a final decision on a virtual environment,” said Ondřej Bábek, head of the Department of Geology, who chairs the conference’s organising team.

In addition to the processes of formation and development of sedimentary rocks, part of the conference discussions will focus on the use of sediments as reservoirs of water and hydrocarbons, human interventions in the natural environment, and the issue of the Anthropocene. “Part of these sedimentological conferences are usually field trips, which are always of enormous interest. Eleven of them were originally planned, but due to the fact that the conference is held online, we cancelled them. However, participants can sign up for three short courses focused on detailed petrography of carbonates, application of magnetic methods in stratigraphy, and the issue of fossil traces,” added Bábek.

Among the important guests will be, for example, V. Paul Wright, from the National Museum of Wales, who deals with the sedimentology of carbonate rocks and paleosols; Elisabeth Hajek from Penn State, who is one of the leading researchers in the field of continental palaeoenvironment and  paleoclimatology; and Matthieu Cartigny from the University of Durham, who focuses on experimental sedimentology and deep-sea sediments in his scientific work.

The conference programme includes about 250 online lectures and the same number of posters and short oral presentations. Short courses, social events for doctoral students, and a virtual Early-Career Scientist party for young researchers are also on tap. In addition, the programme includes the presentation of important awards associated with the plenary lectures of the awarded scientists and three invited keynote lecturers. The collection of abstracts from the conference, which is being prepared by Palacký University Press, contains over 500 papers.

The International Association of Sedimentologists was founded at the International Geological Congress in Algiers on 11 September 1952. Its main mission is to support the study of sedimentology. It has about 2,000 members in some 100 countries. Its main activities are the publication of cutting-edge content, the organisation and sponsorship of conferences, and financial assistance to sedimentologists through a system of grants.

Categories: News from UP

Loss of oleic acid indicates water deficit in plants

News: Faculty of Science - Mon, 14/06/2021 - 13:00

Are there markers that show that plants are starting to suffer from water deficit? The answer to this question has been discovered by researchers from CATRIN in cooperation with colleagues from Poland, Germany and Belgium. They identified specific metabolites that are related to the response of plants to water deficit. One of them – oleic acid – has not yet been described in this context. The description of identification features is important for basic research or could be used for screening methods. The results of approximately two years of research were published in The Plant Journal.

The researchers studied pea plants, which they examined during their growth for three weeks. The plants that received reduced watering were compared to those with enough water.

“During the experiment, we monitored the phenotype with our modern non-invasive methods. We analyzed the morphology of the plants, i. e. whether they change shape, leaf size and total biomass. At the same time, we monitored their physiological state, studied all the essential parameters of photosynthesis, and determined by thermal analysis how the plant manages water. Another part of the research was the collection of phloem juice to determine the content of metabolites from phloem pathways, which are used to distribute nutrients. By statistical analysis, we determined those metabolites that correlated the most with the physiological changes in plants signaling a lack of water,” explained of one of the authors Lukáš Spíchal.

Under mild drought stress, the researchers described 30 statistically significant metabolomites in plants. Many of them are already known to be linked to plant defense mechanisms against drought. However, they were the first to describe oleic acid in this context. Its decrease in the phloem juice, which has occurred after several hours, can be used as a marker for detecting early monitoring that the plant is exposed to water deficit.

“We also tried to compare the contents of metabolites with the phenotype of plants. The phenotype was not very distinct, because the plants did not show significant changes at first glance. For example, we used thermal imaging in order to find out what the temperature of the leaf of the plants is. Changes in temperature indicate how plants open or close vents while losing water. This process therefore shows how the plants are able to cool themselves and manage water,” said a member of the author team Nuria De Diego.

Blicharz S., Beemster G.T.S., Ragni L., De Diego N., Spíchal L., Hernándiz A.E., Marczak L., Olszak M., Perlikowski D., Kosmala A., Malinowski R.: Phloem exudate metabolic content reflects the response to water-deficit stress in pea plants (Pisum sativum L.). Plant J. 2021, in press; DOI: 10.1111/tpj.15240
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tpj.15240

Categories: News from UP

Jiří Vévoda to head the UP Faculty of Health Sciences for the next four years

News: Faculty of Science - Fri, 11/06/2021 - 13:00

Jiří Vévoda has been chosen to be the new Dean of the UP Faculty of Health Sciences for the 2021–2025 term. The fact that Vévoda, Vice Dean for Science and Research, was the best candidate was borne out by the fact that the UP FHS Academic Senate chose him in the first round of voting.

Three candidates were in the running for the post. In addition to Vévoda, they were epidemiologist Jana Janoutová, Director of the UP FHS Department of Healthcare Management and Public Health, and neonatologist and Head of the Neonatal Ward at Olomouc University Hospital Olomouc, Lumír Kantor. To be elected dean, candidates require a majority vote of at least seven out of twelve senators, which Jiří Vevoda received in the first round of voting.

Jiří Vévoda is employed at the UP FHS Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, and since 2019 has been Vice Dean for Science, Research, and Life-long Learning. When FHS Dean Martin Procházka was elected UP Rector, Vévoda became Acting Dean of FHS. He has experience in management and economics and worked for a number of years at the VZP Public Health Insurance company and also for the Czech Ministry of Health. He has been working at Palacký University since completing his doctoral studies in Social Medicine in 2010. He has been a member of both the faculty and university senates, and also Chair of the UP Academic Senate Economics Commission. In addition to teaching, he has occupied himself with the problem of psychosocial risk in healthcare and the motivation and work satisfaction of healthcare personnel. He intends to carry out his tenure as dean sensibly, with feeling, and with full attention to the job.

The newly elected dean, FHS’s fourth since its inception, is determined to bring spatial, economic, and even personal growth to the faculty. His wish is for UP FHS graduates to become the first choice of every human resources manager, whether they be in the field of outpatient facilities, hospitals, or in the Ministry of Health.

“For my dream to come true, my goal needs to be reached first: and that means a strong faculty, first among its peers, with graduates on the European level. And to let my colleagues breathe easier, my first task will be to secure for FHS its own building, and at the same time to begin to discuss changes in the methodology of allocating funds for next year. Securing space and financial means are absolutely crucial,” stated Vévoda.

During the election meeting, he stated along with Senate Chair Lukáš Merz that after thirteen years of its existence the faculty had two other really impressive candidates for the dean’s chair, each of whom would bring great added value to the faculty.

“It was not an easy vote and perhaps this means a greater weight of responsibility will fall on the new management to persuade the academic community that it was the right choice. Nevertheless, I believe that the faculty is set to go forward,” added Merz, congratulating and thanking all after the secret ballot.

Jiří Vévoda is set to take command of the faculty as duly elected dean on 1 August 2021, though he has yet to be officially appointed dean by the university rector.

Categories: News from UP

UP Rector inviting all employees for an informal get-together at the Zbrojnice/Armoury

News: Faculty of Science - Wed, 09/06/2021 - 13:32

On Friday, 18 June, starting at 3 pm, UP Rector Prof Martin Procházka, M.D., PhD., is inviting university employees for an informal gathering in the courtyard of the university Zbrojnice/Armoury. The event is prepared and organized by the university’s ParkIt! initiative. You can look forward to fine food, pleasant seating, loaning of games and sporting equipment, and a live music line-up arranged by UP’s own Daniel Agnew & Salih Hadžiabdić. You can also look forward to light refreshments prepared by UP Dining (light snacks and a welcome drink), the OSA Cocktail Bar (free mixed drinks for the first 60 customers), and Coffee Library (free hot drinks*). In the evening, the summer film comedy Palm Springs will be projected in the courtyard. Children are welcome! and games and a street art workshop are being prepared especially for them.

3–9 pm | ParkIt! Zone

  • the Zbrojnice/Armoury courtyard will be transformed into one huge chill-out zone (lawn chairs, bean bags, and other seating)
  • Gastro Zone by UP Dining, OSA Cocktail Bar, Coffee Library, and more…
  • games for all (pétanque, kubb, molkki, badminton), loaning of blankets and board games
  • street art workshop by Chaos Company, Slackline Olomouc workshop, UPoint tent

3:45 pm | Welcome by UP Rector Martin Procházka with toast (celebratory drink)

4:00 pm | Daniel Agnew (guitar, harmonica)

6:30 pm | Salih Hadžiabdić (guitar)

7:30 pm | Sylvie Bee (chansons, piano accompaniment by V. Kramář)

9:30 pm | Palm Springs (open air film screening)

 

* upon showing UP employee ID

Categories: News from UP

Researchers analysed traces of 7,000-year-old food on baking pans found at Lake Ohrid

News: Faculty of Science - Mon, 07/06/2021 - 14:03

Traces of 7,000 year-old food on the surface of Neolithic pottery from the southern Balkans were discovered and described by scientists from a Czech-North Macedonian-Italian team. Archaeologists, chemists and biologists led by Jaromír Beneš from the University of South Bohemia (USB) and Lukáš Kučera from the Palacký University Olomouc Faculty of Science (UP) analysed traces on large ceramic baking pans found in the early 1960s at Lake Ohrid on the border of North Macedonia and Albania. Research suggests that people at the time enjoyed dishes with pork, flour, and wild plants.

The finds were part of the “pile-dwelling” settlements, which were situated in this locality between the years 5200 to 5000 BC. The research results were published in a special “Applied Analytical Chemistry” issue of the prestigious chemistry journal Molecules.

Specialists took samples from the surface of prehistoric vessels in 2019 as part of a summer archaeobotanical school organised by the USB and North Macedonian archaeological institutions. The samples were then processed at several Czech and foreign workplaces. Microscopic traces of starches and plant fragments were investigated in the Laboratory of Archaeobotany and Paleoecology, USB Faculty of Science, detailed chemical analysis of samples was performed at the Department of Analytical Chemistry, UP Faculty of Science. The genetic-immunological signal from the collected material was then monitored at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. Important microscopic identification of non-pollen objects was performed by Assunta Florenzano from the university in Modena, Italy.

The fragments of ceramic baking pans themselves were the subject of research by North Macedonian archaeologists. Based on the presence of entire finds, they were included in the young phase of the Balkan Neolithic. One of the ceramic baking pans was even completely restored. It was possible to remove a few centimetres of burned organic matter from it before restoration. The researchers then found that hyphae of microscopic fungi were preserved in the baked material. This testifies to the not very careful cleaning of dishes by prehistoric farmers.

“Chemical analysis of the obtained samples by gas chromatography in conjunction with mass spectrometry was very beneficial. A large number of compounds were identified in a number of samples, the most important of which was the detection of cholesterol. This substance was found in high concentrations in holes at the bottom of baking pans and baked layers on the inner wall. This finding determined the next direction of laboratory research,” explained Lukáš Kučera from the Department of Analytical Chemistry, UP Faculty of Science.

Further research consisted in the microscopic analysis of plant phytolites forming the ‘skeleton’ of plants as well as in the analysis of starch grains, which did not undergo gelatinization heat transformation during the baking of Neolithic food. The presence of wild plants from the Liliaceae family, the genera Setaria, and genus Typha was detected by microscopy. Starch grains have also been found to indicate the possible presence of cereals, the use of which is very likely in this context. This was even confirmed by the finding of a fraction of the hair of the larva of a cereal louse – a beetle, which is mainly harmful to the stocks of grain and flour.

The interpretation of the results of this research was significantly helped by the immunological analysis, in which Jaroslav Pavelka found the presence of denatured pork proteins in several samples. Two samples, including a larger organic cake, were radiocarbon dated in Atlanta, USA. However, the results showed a greater age of the samples than by dating the pottery using archaeological relative chronology, which determines the dating of artifacts using other finds in the collection in the same archaeological layer where the baking pans were found. However, this effect of the greater apparent age of the findings has been well described in the literature – it is caused by the enrichment with older radiocarbon dissolved in the aquatic environment, where the findings were located for seven thousand years.

Although, the important thing was that both radiocarbon data were the same, which precluded contamination with younger material. In the archaeological literature, it has been considered so far that Neolithic baking pans from Lake Ohrid were used to bake fish. This certainly logical reasoning was based on the oval shape of the baking pans and the geographical location of the pile-dwelling settlement Ustie na Drim near the northern shore of Lake Ohrid. However, the analysis of the samples did not confirm this hypothesis. It is highly probable that the baking pans were used many times and probably also for different dishes. The results of analyses are therefore cumulative, which means that the chemical and biological traces did not have to come from only one type of food. Dishes with pork, flour, and wild plants are the most likely option. A similar dish is still prepared in North Macedonia under the name “peasant meat” and is very popular.

The multidisciplinary analyses of the international team showed the direction of archaeological, chemical, and biological research. Current analytical methods are extremely sensitive and accurate. Thanks to this, scientists can push the boundaries of learning about the lives of the first European farmers and reveal the ancient roots of contemporary Balkan cuisine. “For the first time ever, a combination of chemical and archaeobotanical analysis has been used in research to such an extent. In archaeology, this opens up completely new possibilities for us, never dreamed of until now,” added Jaromír Beneš from the University of South Bohemia.

Categories: News from UP

How do young Czechs sleep? Too little, say UP researchers

News: Faculty of Science - Wed, 02/06/2021 - 12:00

At least 40% of schoolchildren aged 11–15 do not get enough sleep on weekdays. Moreover, falling short of the recommended amount of sleep increases gradually with age – by the age of 15, up to one half of schoolchildren are sleeping less than they should. However, these are not the only conclusions that researchers from Palacký University Olomouc have brought forward. Other findings are also worth noting, such as the associations between sleep deprivation and obesity, low life satisfaction and depression. “Social jet lag” is a newly coined term in the vocabulary of children’s lifestyle experts.

The globally accepted standard for sleep duration are the recommendations of the US national agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to them, children (6–12 years old) should sleep 9 to 12 hours per day, and teenagers (13–18 years old) 8 to 10 hours. According to the latest findings of the international Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study, about 60% of schoolchildren sleep within the recommended range, but by the age of 15 only half of them do. According to a parallel study providing twenty-four-hour movement behaviours analysis, up to 75% of young people do not get enough sleep.

Czech children sleep an average of 8 hours, 8 minutes on weekdays. On weekends, holidays, and vacations, however, they tend to enjoy longer sleep, the average sleep time increasing by 90 minutes to 9 hours, 36 minutes. Time spent sleeping decreases with age. While 11-year-olds sleep close to nine hours on average on weekdays, 15-year-olds sleep just over 7 and a half hours.

 

Lack of sleep results in more disorders

“Finding out that young people don’t get enough sleep is important, but it’s not sufficient. In our research, we also focus on the context. We are interested in how sleep debt relates to other aspects of children’s lifestyles,” says Michal Kalman, head of the HBSC study research team from the UP Faculty of Physical Culture. He points out the fact that insufficient sleep has an impact, for example, on children’s psychological state (irritability, depression), their increasingly poor eating habits (skipping breakfast, higher consumption of energy drinks or chips). and an overall lower sense of satisfaction. It is also linked to physical and health problems, from headaches to being overweight to childhood obesity.

“Simply put, those who get enough sleep are much less likely to be overweight or obese,” adds Aleš Gába, head of the twenty-four-hour movement behaviours analysis research project at the UP Faculty of Physical Education. He also points out another important influence, which is screen time. Watching movies and videos, playing games or time spent on social networks tend to steal from sleep. It is for this reason that high screen time, together with insufficient sleep, is one of the major “obesity-causing” factors.

“The comprehensiveness of the research is one of the reasons why the World Health Organisation (WHO) supports these studies and puts great emphasis on the publication of their findings. The issue of healthy sleep is one that has long escaped public attention. And we would like to change that. The findings from the HBSC study as well as the report on physical activity, screen time, and sleep published last year under the WHO Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI), has provided data and evidence for politicians, schools, and parents to improve children’s health,” says Srdan Matić, WHO Representative in the Czech Republic.

 

Social jet lag

Experts also bring attention to “social jet lag” – a significant discrepancy between biological and social time. What the body needs is one thing, and what happens to it due to social needs and conventions is another thing. In the case of sleep, for example, it is a matter of getting up too early for school. This is manifested in the markedly different sleep patterns on weekdays and weekends. Sleep duration is up to two hours longer at weekends.

Almost half of the ninth graders (45%) experience social jet lag. In total, more than a third of all schoolchildren aged 11–15 (36% of boys and 46% of girls) sleep at least two hours longer at the weekend than on weekdays. Such discrepancies that children’s bodies have to cope with have a negative impact on their health. Among other things, they are responsible for increased fatigue or perceived lack of energy.

Would social jet lag be alleviated if school started later? “We believe it would. Although it is not directly the subject of our research, some of the data suggest it. Sleep is limited by getting up for school on the one hand, and on the other by falling asleep late. Interventions are helpful at both ends,” Kalman concludes.

 

Two sources of data

The UP team has been monitoring and commenting on factors affecting the health of Czech schoolchildren aged 11, 13, and 15 for a long time. The HBSC study is being conducted in collaboration with WHO. It deals comprehensively with the lifestyle of the young generation. In addition to new findings on sleep deprivation, it also focusses on physical activity, obesity, and risky behaviours (alcohol, smoking, marijuana). Forty countries from all over the world are involved in the study.

The twenty-four-hour movement behaviours analysis obtains information on the movement, sitting, and sleeping patterns of children and adolescents by measuring a smaller sample of the population. UP researchers monitored more than 700 children and adolescents continuously for seven consecutive days. They analysed the 24-hour day and night cycle as a whole. In addition to sleep characteristics, they also monitored the length and quality of physical activity and sitting.

 

Sleep and other themes in original training

Apart from the theme of sleep, the Olomouc researchers decided to prepare a total of ten topics in a form suitable for teachers, educational counsellors at schools, as well as parents. The result is an accredited training course in the Continuing Education of Educational Workers programme and a set of educational materials supplemented by infographics. The training presents a broader context of the HBSC study with all the essential data but also focusses practically on working with children in the classroom using experiential pedagogy.

Teachers and other interested parties will also receive an e-book packed with information from the research and sample activities on topics such as overweight and obesity, eating habits, and energy drink consumption, entitled Zdravá generace zážitkově [Healthy Generation: An Experiential Approach]. “The ministry has emphasised that teachers need to have the most up-to-date information on children’s behaviour; they need to be not only familiar with this data but also able to use it actively in their teaching. This original training course and other materials do a perfect job in this area,” says Jaroslav Faltýn, Director of the Department of Preschool, Basic, Basic Artistic and Special Education at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic.

For more information on the issue of sleep in Czech children, see the Healthy Generation website (in Czech only).

Categories: News from UP

I’ll remember Olomouc as an amazing place with amazing people, says a graduate from Israel

News: Faculty of Science - Sat, 22/05/2021 - 08:00

Forty students of the General Medicine programme at the UP Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry have joined the ranks of Palacký University graduates in recent days. These Doctors of Medicine are now setting off to serve under the Hippocratic Oath all over the map, from Argentina to Egypt, from the UK to Singapore. One of them is Linoy Ratush from Israel, who wants to work as a general practitioner back home.

“I chose the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at Palacký University mainly because I knew a few people who were already studying in Olomouc, and they were very happy with the studies here. When I came to see this place I really liked how beautiful and student-friendly Olomouc is,” says the fresh doctor, who has always seen her future in medicine and helping other people.

Linoy Ratush achieved the best grade average among her classmates, but as she recalls, studying was not always easy. She even called it a crazy adventure, one she’d never forget. “Crazy in the sense of ʻgood crazyʼ. The stress before the exams and the happiness afterwards, no words could ever describe it….”

“I think in the beginning anatomy was a challenge – to remember all the minute details. Later on we had pathophysiology, where we had to learn the exact mechanism of the development of disease. But generally, it is a matter of understanding what you are studying and doing it from the heart,” she said, looking back on her classes in retrospect. “And as far as the teachers are concerned, I’m very proud to say that they were all so supportive. Any questions we had they immediately answered and tried to explain in the best possible way.”

Ratush has words of praise not only for the educational standards at UP, but also the way the faculty and the university took care of their international students during the pandemic. “When Covid came around, it was really difficult to adjust to the situation, but UP did an amazing job in keeping us updated and safe even when we were far away from home,” adds the graduate, who already has plans about how to use in practice what she has learnt in Olomouc.

Ratush is considering becoming a general practitioner. She likes the nature of such a job, combining both disease prevention and maximal medical care and bringing in a diverse range of patients. “Olomouc will always be remembered as a place where I finally accomplished my goal; it is an amazing place with amazing people and a fun, supportive community. I wouldn’t choose any other place to study,” she concluded.

Categories: News from UP

New service for UP students: Electronic confirmation of studies

News: Faculty of Science - Fri, 21/05/2021 - 11:08

Palacký University Olomouc students have one less obstacle to worry about. They will no longer have to go to the university in person to get a confirmation of their studies: from now on, they can generate it on their own via the UP Portal. The university is thus facilitating students’ access to the necessary certificate as digitisation of documents is gradually being implemented.

“Confirmation of Study” is a document often requested by various authorities or institutions. Now it is possible to use the UP Portal, which all students have access to, to obtain the confirmation. Students can find it under the ELF (Electronic Forms) tile, and by clicking the Print button, a PDF file is created. “The text of the confirmation states that the student is a student of Palacký University on the date the document was generated. However, it also contains a QR code, which can be used by the recipient of the confirmation to verify whether the person is really a student at the time,” explained Monika Smitková, head of the Student Affairs Office at the UP Rector’s Office.

“The new system makes it easier for students to access their study confirmation. Every UP student can generate it anywhere and at any time. The QR code is a guarantee that the information is continuously updated. In addition, it is much more environmentally friendly; it also reduces the administrative burden on everyone, especially the study offices at all faculties,” added Vice-Rector for Undergraduate Studies, Vít Zouhar.

Categories: News from UP

AFO56 winners announced: films available to stream all May

News: Faculty of Science - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 13:00

The International Festival of Science Documentary Films Academia Film Olomouc has announced all the winners of its 56th year. The festival, which was held on-line last year, however does not end with the awards ceremony. AFO fans can watch the prize-winning documentaries and dozens of other films until the end of May for free on the on-line platform www.watchandknow.cz.

Between October 2020, when the 55th year took place, and mid-May this year, the AFO Festival attracted 19,240 accredited viewers to its on-line programme. According to the organisers, during the last two festival weeks, a total of 27,064 screenings of films from the competition programme and other programme sections were viewed. “We wanted to make this year’s on-line programme as similar as possible to its live format. In addition to the selection of competition films, viewers were offered also several thematic sections. In total, they could watch 108 documentaries on our platform,” said Ondřej Kazík, the head programmer.

This year’s competition programme at AFO56 had over 3,000 entries; 77 documentaries made it to the competition selection and for streaming for the audience. The trophy, in the form of a glass kaleidoscope made by Czech glassmaker Martin Hlubuček, was presented to five filmmakers selected by juries of experts; the audience also voted for their favourite. The winner of the International Competition receives a prize of USD $5000, the winner of the Czech & Slovak Competition receives $2000. In autumn 2021, a Grand Prize of $10,000 will be presented in conjunction with the CZU (Czech University of Life Sciences Prague) Film Fest. “In recent years, we have been able to increase the prizes thanks to our partners. We believe that it is necessary to support popular science documentaries, especially now, in the era of disinformation, so that we can reach the broad public with facts and knowledge,” added AFO Director Jakub Ráliš.

BEST INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE DOCUMENTARY FILM

The Last Artifact (US)

BEST SCIENCE DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM AWARD

Hysterical Girl (US)

BEST CZECH & SLOVAK SCIENCE DOCUMENTARY FILM

Den s částicemi (A Day with Particles, CZ)

PALACKÝ UNIVERSITY STUDENT JURY AWARD

The Last Artifact (US)

AFO AUDIENCE AWARD

TE:20 (CZ)

The Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Popularisation of Science was presented to Czech biochemist Jan Konvalinka. The second non-film award was AFO Spotlight, awarded to promising Czech filmmakers with great talent and potential. This year’s laureate is anthropologist and filmmaker Pavel Borecký. His film Living Water can also be streamed until the end of May on the AFO film platform.

Another AFO programme during summer and autumn 2021 will be AFO Cinemas – special screenings throughout the Czech Republic. “What we want is to get this year’s programme out to the people and support cinemas who have also been hit hard by the pandemic. We are now closely monitoring the situation and planning how, when, and where to hold the screenings. There will be an accompanying programme too, such as interviews with special guests and the ‘Music Is Science’ concert series,” said Ráliš.

In addition to the films, people can also visit the interactive installation on the fence by the Olomouc Museum of Art until the end of May. The author of the concept is motion and graphic designer Matej Vázal. A complete experience is provided by the Artivive free app, which takes the viewer into augmented reality (AR). The AR features a selection of scientific and artistic works from the Visualisation section, selected by AFO programmer Zdeněk Rychtera and MUO curator Barbora Kundračíková.

The prize-winning films and dozens of other documentaries are available to stream for free until the end of May.

Categories: News from UP

This year’s winter was more favourable for beekeepers; fewer colonies died

News: Faculty of Science - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 11:50

This winter caused less damage for domestic beekeepers than the previous one. According to the results of COLOSS: Honeybee Winter Colony Loss Survey, in which experts from the Department of Biochemistry and the Department of Geoinformatics of the Faculty of Science are participating for the eighth time, less than 15 per cent of production colonies did not survive the winter months. The number of beekeepers who lost all bee colonies this winter has also decreased. All in all, less than ten per cent of respondents recorded more than 50 per cent losses at the end of winter. The biggest mortalities were reported by beekeepers in the Pardubice and Vysočina regions.

“According to questionnaires from 1745 respondents, we have information on 26,592 bee colonies this year. In total for the whole Czech Republic, this year’s losses of production bee colonies were 14.5 per cent. Unlike the previous year, when Czech beekeepers suffered large-scale mortalities of bee colonies, this year’s losses were lower overall. However, they did not fall below ten per cent, as we recorded in the pilot year 2013/14 or in the 2015/16 survey, which followed the mortality year 2014/2015,” said Jiří Danihlík from the Department of Biochemistry, UP Faculty of Science, according to whom this year’s bee colonies losses range at the levels of 2016/17 to 2018/19.

In the year-on-year comparison, the number of beekeepers who lost all bee colonies decreased this year. “Nevertheless, even this year, 8.2 percent of respondents recorded more than 50 per cent loss of bee colonies. Respondents who recorded high bee mortality, stated in the comments that around September and October at the sites there was an intense robbery between colonies, which also occurred at the surrounding sites in the area. Increased mortality also affected surrounding beekeepers, sometimes even entire organisations. Beekeepers mentioned varroosis, hunger, and viruses as causes. Several cases also reported poisoning of bee colonies during rapeseed flowering,” said Danihlík.

In the current survey, experts also asked beekeepers for the first time about their satisfaction with honey production. “We do not intentionally ask about the average honey yield, but about the subjective opinion of beekeepers. Last year’s honey yield was rated by 26 per cent of beekeepers as rather below average and 39 per cent as low. Long-term monitoring of this issue will provide us with interesting data, which we will be able to evaluate in the context of landscape changes and from which we could derive trends in the future,” said Jan Brus from the Department of Geoinformatics.

Thanks to regular monitoring of bee colonies’ overwintering, experts from the departments of Biochemistry and Geoinformatics have found that extensive bee mortalities recur in the Czech Republic on average once every two to three years. Some time ago, scientists launched a unique interactive map of the Czech Republic (https://colosscz.webnode.cz/ztraty-vcelstev/) with data on the loss of bee colonies in individual regions, the density of bee colonies, and the average production of honey per bee colony.

“In cooperation with our research partners, we are continuing our research into bee immunity; this year we will focus on resistance to viruses. We will also address this topic in the education of beekeepers. And because beekeepers are increasingly using oxalic acid, we plan to check its effect on bee health in various types of applications,” added Danihlík.

There are about 696,000 bee colonies and almost 61,000 beekeepers in the Czech Republic. Data from the survey for the Czech Republic are sent annually to the international COLOSS association. Detailed data can be found at www.coloss.cz.

Categories: News from UP

Regime at UP: summer semester, classes, testing, etc. (Last update: 10 May)

News: Faculty of Science - Mon, 10/05/2021 - 10:50
Current rules for teaching, exams and dormitories at UP

As of 10 May a new government measure regulating the form of teaching at schoools has been in force. Within universities, it allows practical and clinical lessons and training of all students and exams in presence, if there is a distance of minimally 1.5 meters between individual persons. A component of the in-person teaching for students is mandatory weekly testing for Covid-19. A negative test is a prerequisite for taking part in lessons, as well as mandatory wearing respirators in inside premises.

Currently, the following teaching activities are allowed in presence at UP:

  1. practical, lab, experimental, and artistic lessons and training for students;
  2. examinations, if there is a distance of minimally 1.5 meters between individual persons
  3. individual consultations between one teacher and one student.

Czech students are prohibited from residing in university dormitories including university facilities if they have another residence within the Czech Republic, with the exception of students who are attending classes mentioned in items 1 and 3. Foreign students can stay at dormitories without regard to their field of study. Details on UP dormitory rules can be found on the UP Accommodation and Dining webpage (in Czech).

 

Testing of employees and students for covid-19

Mandatory weekly testing of employees for covid-19 is currently taking place at UP on the basis of government regulations. Employees without a negative test cannot work inside UP premises. As of 26 April antigen testing is mandatory for students attendning classes, too. Details here.

As of 3 May academic workers can register themselves in the system for vaccination against Covid-19.

 

Library services

The UP Central Library at the Zbrojnice/Armoury and all faculty branches still remain closed. Books can be borrowed under the existing special contactless regime.

Categories: News from UP

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