The biggest experiment in the history of mankind

The new era of science have started; the biggest machine ever made will simulate big bang, hopefully reveling some of the secrets of universe creation. European Organization for Nuclear Research have spend over 6 billions € on the construction. The whole device is placed close to Geneva, underground at Switzerland-French border.

Shortly after 11 am the first protons were successfully send through the whole 27 kilometres of The Large Hadron Collider by the speed of 99,99% speed of light.

Europe have succeeded in the project, which the USA abandoned fifteen years ago after two billions dollars spend. The USA team was however present and helped with the whole project.

The Czech contribution came from scientists of the Academy of Sciences, Charles University and CVUT. The main Czech aim was cooperating on development of the ATLAS detector, which is at the present moment the biggest measuring instrument of the world.


Czech Gadget: Computer is possible to control by Eyes

The graduate of Grammar school by Jedlickuv ustav Michal Kabat presented the invention today – the system called I4Control for people with physical disadvantages. Since the next week, it is possible to buy it in Prague and the CR.

The first version of the gadget was first developed by Czech Marcela Fejtova from Cybernetics faculty of CVUT in Prague.

It is based on a little camera fixed to a spectacle frame, which scans movement of a person’s pupil. Its movement is than transmitted to a cursor on a screen, blinking stands for clicking.

The Czech invention will be sold since 2009 in other countries of the EU. Other systems exist in other countries, but are usually much more expensive. According to Fejtova they costs start from 5000 Euro. The Czech device costs 1560 €.


Prague Tourist PDA Proposal

Prague information service came with a new project; Prague could be inter-connected by an information system, unique in the world. What is it about? All the services for tourists should be packed into one small computer. A tourist, who arrives to Ruzyne airport should have the chance to rent this device, which will accompany him on his way in Prague – plan his routs, reserve theatre tickets, guide him through the sights, and help him to find an adequate restaurant.

If the city accredits the project, it could start working the next tourist season already. If it will be useful, it could be tailored up to a Prague citizen’s need and distributed for them as well. The PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) start at 250€/apiece.

Czech scientists found another better cure for cancer

Czech Scientists have participated on a discovery, which can radically change the way of Brest cancer cure. They informed about their accomplishments in the last volume of Nature Genetics.

Together with their Denmark colleagues, they discovered the gene responsible for creating the substance which is repressive to tumor occurrence.

Concerning the women with disadvantageous mutation of this gene, the defense against tumor occurrence doesn’t work as it should. And not only this; patients with a slightly changed gene variation are resistant to chemotherapy, quite contrary, the side effect only makes them harm.

The scientists expect it should be possible to cure every patient individually, and so much effectively.

The Professor Jiri Bartek, who participated on the discovery, revealed what this will mean in common language: “Meanwhile traditional medicine is comparable to the situation where is everyone given clothes of the same size, this new era should offer every patient clothes tailored to their individual needs. “


Czech scientists contribute significantly to criminology

Czech scientists are now cooperating on a revolutionary method that could significantly help criminologist in their work. They are trying to identify the criminals from a small sample of blood, hair or saliva, thanks to DNA.

In about five years they will be able to tell what colour are the criminal’s eyes or hair, approximate height or hereditary diseases. Now criminologists use the DNA to tell whether the sample from the crime scene is identical with the DNA of the suspect.

Geneticists will discuss the developments in genetics on the I. special workshop organized by Czechoslovak Society For Forensic Genetics with presence of Eppendorf company in Prague’s Parkhotel (Veletrzni 20) that starts today.

Another method that is connected with Czech names is the analysis of criminals’ walk.

New software development centres in the Czech Republic

American technology company Quadbase Systems from Silicon Valley will build a branch in the Czech Republic. The workers in the branch will develop internet applications Java. The Czech Republic is sought for its talents in software developments and good technological infrastructure. American companies cover 60% of investments to research and development in the Czech Republic.

International companies opened more than 40 technological, development and distribution centres in the Czech Republic. E.g., branch of American Sun Microsystems Company was opened in Prague this year.

The world’s biggest software company, Microsoft, decided to open European business support center for mobile technologies in the Czech Republic. The centre will provide services to leading European mobile phone providers and manufacturers of mobile equipment.

Also Prague has a good change to win the seat of the navigation system Galileo. According to Tomas Hruda from CzechInvest, the Czech Republic has many experts in space and satellite technologies. Also the favourable geographic position of Prague in the centre of Europe and good infrastructure make it a good candidate.

New discovery by Czech doctors

Czech doctors found new effects of the medicine for leukemia. This old medicine known as Alemtuzumab for almost twenty years is used after transplantation of haematoplastic cells, especially when curing leukemia.

The doctors from Internal Hematooncology Clinics of the Brno University Hospital discovered that the medicine does not only regulate undesirable effects of the transplantation but also increase the production of cells from which platelets are made.

This discovery already saved a woman’s life. The doctors published their results in the international journal Leukemia for other teams of doctors all over the world.

Transgenesis and The Science and Technology Week

All those who are interested in science and would like to learn more about the achievements in science and the work in laboratories have a chance this week in Prague, Brno, Ceske Budejovice and Ostrava where The Science and Technology Week takes place from 6th to 12th November.

The main topics of the week are biotechnology, nanotechnology and European cultural heritage. The week will be full of lectures, film presentations and exhibitions. The Academy of Sciences and several other institutions in the Czech Republic decided to open their doors and let visitors see the labs and talk with many experts not only from the Czech Republic but also from the United States and Great Britain. For more information about the week, click here

How Czech and foreign artist were inspired by laboratories can be seen at art festival Transgenesis – Biotechnology in present art. The programme of this festival consists of exhibitions, lectures and film presentations. The main part can be seen in the main building of Academy of Sciences in Narodni trida (from 7th to 10th November) and Gallery C2C in Za Strahovem 19 street (from 1st to 12th November, 16:00 – 20:00).

Gorilla reality show awarded

Czech reality show based on the same principle like Big Brother won one of the main prizes in the prestigious competition Wildscreen that took place in Bristol. The main characters were not people but gorillas.

Wildscreen is the world’s largest and most prestigious wildlife and environmental film festival. Among 412 displayed films from 45 countries were also projects of renowned companies BBC, National Geographic or Discovery.

The show of Czech Radio (Cesky rozhlas) called The Revealed won in the category ARKive Interactive Awards and beat many big projects, such as Springwatch made by BBC Science & Nature Interactive. ARKive Interactive Award is given to the project that best explores the interactive potential of digital technology.

The gorillas from the awarded show live in Prague’s ZOO. Gorilla shows are available online.


Walk can prove criminals guilty

Czech expert in criminology Jiri Straus from the Police Academy of the Czech Republic in Prague found a new method how to prove criminals guilty – criminal’s walk. He became another Czech person written in the history of criminology.

Man’s walk has been investigated for more than 30 years but only as footprints in the earth – their distance and depth. Straus’s method observes the curves that the body makes while walking. This method can be used especially in banks with security cameras. The walk of the criminal recorded by the cameras is then compared with the walk of suspects.

Straus method is successful for the reason that the walk is unique for every human like fingerprints. Straus would like to create a database of criminals and samples of their walks by the year 2008.

Czech company produces second product made from nanothread

Nanothread will now have a new use. Elmaco company cooperated with Liberec Technical university and created new use for nanothread: a sound isolation.

This is a second product created by this cooperation. The first one was a patch for better healing of wounds. The team as first in the world constructed a machine for industrial producing of nano threads. Nano threads are three time lighter than materials used in present time and is very universal.

Elmaco wants to start cooperation with a company who creates materials absorbing sounds. Elmaco as a first middle-size company has open branch in Japan, where it want to expand to Asia and Australia. The company now cooperate with Ireland Alltracel Pharmaceuticals in producing of wound-cover materials. First products can be bought next year.

The fate of Solar system lays in Prague

Prague hosts International Astronomical Union in these days. As you can read in our recent article, two and a half thousands astronomers from 75 countries discuss about important things in sphere of the universe. Whole world now awaits one of most important decisions for a century with hold breath.

Is ninth planet of Solar system Pluto a real full-value planet? This problem appeared in year 2003 when another relatively small object was found in distant orbit. This object is bigger than Pluto and has a name 2003 UB313 or Xena. Shortly after another six objects bigger than Pluto was found. Pluto is very similar to them and different from other large planets like eighth Neptune.

Astronomers must decide what the term “a planet” means. This will mostly bring changes in schoolbooks. Planets will be re-count and this can bring number eight or even sixteen. Some astronomers want to specify Xena as a planet, but strong opinion is that this “small objects” (Pluto has only fifth weight of our Moon) should be termed as a planetoid – a small planet, something between a planet and an asteroid.

The astronomical conference in Prague ends 25th August and world media hope that the fate of Pluto will be decided here.


Czech scientists are developing new cure against Bird flu

Czech Republic as well as another countries is trying to create new cure against deadly bird flu, because it is not certain if Swiss medicament Tamiflu works. Now Czech scientists brings a great new: One of Czech chemical substances is very effective against bird flu!

The scientists send a number of samples to United states for detail analyze and after many tests American scientists found “better and more efficient Tamiflu”. US society pharmaceutical Gilead Sciences send this message to creators of the substance CSAS Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry. Still there is a long road ahead, but everything seems good. For example the substance has a lesser number of side effects.

Bird flu virus H5N1 killed 136 people in the world mostly in area of south-east Asia. The flu was detected in 14 countries of European Union, Czech Republic has 14 bids killed by the flu. The bird flu is one of expected flu what can cause a world epidemic. Now people can be infected only by a bird, but mutation could cause transmitting between humans.


Functioning Krajanek plane in National Technical Museum

National Technical Museum in Prague has a new exhibit for all fans of aeroplanes – a newly reconstructed “Krajanek” alias Zlin Z-24. The museum itself undergoes a reconstruction and will be completely closed for the public from mid-September till the end of the year 2007. The last chance to see the plane and visit the museum before its one and a half year long “break” is the 10th September.

“Krajanek” was the very first sail plane to be constructed in the post-war Czechoslovakia. The one to be seen in the Prague museum was built in the year 1948 and its reconstruction lasted several years. It was undeniably worth it, despite to total cost exceeding one million crowns, because “Krajanek” is really special – altogether there were only 300 planes made but this one is capable of flight. There are only two other such planes in the whole world – one in Brno and the other one overseas in England.

The museum, which is devoted to development of various branches of science and technology, prepares for the last day a very rich programme. The visitors will be able to have a look at functioning steam machines or telegraph a message using the Morse code – to name at least some of the highlights of the day.

The reconstruction should give the museum appearance reminding of the thirties. There will for example be an art deco banisters added to the main staircase. The whole museum should also have no barriers. The whole reconstruction is expected to cost one hundred and seventy million crowns.


Observing the night sky in "astronomical Prague"

This time of summer is ideal for observing the night sky with the brightly visible Venus and Jupiter. This week also adds an opportunity to have a proper look at Mercury, Mars and soon also at the meteor shower Perseids. The best time to try to see them is, given cloudless conditions naturally, the night of the 13th August.

The night sky can be viewed from the Stafanik Observatory that can be found in the very centre of Prague in Petrin Park. The observatory has a long tradition and tries to increase the popularity of astronomy and natural sciences related to it. The observatory is open daily (apart from Monday) between nine and eleven hours in the evening for the night observing. It can be comfortably reached by buses 176, 143 or 217 that stop near the Strahov Stadium.

More information about the observatory and its programme as well as a useful map of the area is accessible at the web pages of the observatory.

A dinosaur might be coming to Prague

Czech palaeontologists returned to Prague after spending almost one month in the area of Gobi desert, Mongolia. Their stay was a part of Expedition Gobi 06-09 and brought success. The experts discovered several skeletons of dinosaurs as well as hundreds of bones belonging to these primeval creatures in the valley Nemegt.

The discoveries are, for the time being, to stay in Mongolia but the scientists noted down their location carefully. The aim of the expedition, lasting till the year 2009, is to bring back to the Czech Republic a skeleton of a dinosaur. It should find its home in a new Prague museum devoted to history of the Earth. The museum will be associated with the famous Charles University – more specifically with its Faculty of Science.

There will be therefore future cooperation between Czech palaeontologists and their Mongolian colleagues so that the objective of the participants of the expedition can come true.


Western hemisphere jumped

Wondering through Prague streets yesterday, you might have seen people looking at their watches in a very concentrated manner, counting down seconds and then – all of a sudden – jumping. The reason behind this rather bizarre behaviour was the World Jump Day.

World Jump Day aimed to put an end to global warming and create a more homogeneous climate as well as to lengthen daytime hours. This was to be achieved by a joint jump of at least 600 000 000 people on the western hemisphere at exactly 12:39:13 of our time.

The combined force of their impact was, according to German Professor Niesward from the Department of Gravitationsphysics, supposed to change Earths orbital rotation.

The only problem is that there is no Professor Niesward. He was “crated” by German artist Torsten Lauschmann. Scientist discredited the project (Newton’s Third Law) and very likely it was a mere artistic hoax.

Should you be one of the registered 600 248 012 jumpers or if this article aroused your curiosity, wait for the results – they should be published in the course of the coming few weeks.


A remedy for people infected by AIDS

American pharmacist companies will fund Czech research lead by Antonin Holy who developed a cure for patients with AIDS.

Gilead company will give 1,1 millions dollars every year to science institute, where Holy works. 200 000 dollars from this amount is specially for Holy’s research. His last medicine is called Viread, before that he developed Vistide and also cure for chronic Hepatitis B type.

Still there is a small funding from Czech state to science, but some money comes from grants and benefits. Last year it was 166 millions crowns.

The average cost of developing new medicament is about a half milliards dollars.

Sheeps and goats helps to botanic gardens

It can be hard to imagine but goats and sheeps helps to botanical garden. And the way of this help is even stranger: they eat garth at Prague protected area in Troja quarter.

The care about steppe phytocoenose is made by grazing. This is much better than grass-cutter. Goats and sheeps “works” in worse accessible places, they eat heath and self-seeding shrubs, old grass and even their move breaks the surface.

The flock will move from surroundings of unique greenhouse Fata Morgana 17th July to Podhori and their work ends 20 July.

Robotic doctor in Prague hospital

Still it will take some time to an existence of artificial doctor who will be able to cure patients or recognize the wounds. For now we can see them only in Star Wars movie or Star Trek: Voyager series. But robotic technology can be helpful already now.

Prague Na Homolce hospital has a “robotic servant”. This useful piece of technology allows to make a virtual tour for a doctor who cannot be really presented at a place. The robot moves in a hospital and visits patient room. The motion is directed by a doctor from a distance. In rooms the robot can visit every patient and a doctor can communicate with them via cameras and raudio system at both sides. A doctor can see the wounds, speak with nurses and other doctors or suggest a treatment.

This technology can help in many ways. It can control and gives advices to younger doctors, it can be used as an expert assistance in operations, when the doctor is in another hospital or a country. This allows to reduce a need of transportation a patient for another expert opinion. When hospital need to know an attitude of doctor who is at vacation or at home this is very helpful. And there is another quality of this robot: doctor can visit a patient contagious disease without fear.

Na Homolce hospital now testing the robot and his use. It would be the first “robotic doctor” used in Central and Easter Europe. Total number of robots used in the world is about 80.