A global team including Czech scientists has assembled the first full genome of the common pea, shedding light on how the legume has evolved over tens of millions of years. Their work – which builds on that of the Moravian monk Gregor Mendel – is a vital part of an effort to grow high-yield, sustainable crops to feed Earth’s growing population as the climate changes.
The interdisciplinary study of archaeology and genetics can bring about many new discoveries, some of which have helped shed new light on periods previously clouded in myth. One of these is a more precise understanding of the ancestors that make up today’s Czech population, which is apparently more pre-historic than Slav.
Czech scientists have created artificial DNA that with further development
could help combat disease by replacing problematic strands.
Researchers at the Academy of Sciences and Charles University say that by using chemical reactions, in theory the artificial DNA could be substituted for actual strands of human DNA to halt the advance of various diseases.
Experiments in transferring the light-sensitive, artificial DNA have not yet been carried out on living cells or organisms.
More than eleven centuries after the fall of the Great Moravian Empire, there are still direct descendants from the Slavic noblemen living among us. A study of DNA samples, carried out recently by the Moravian Museum in Brno, found eleven men from the region of Uherské Hradiště who definitely have Great Moravian ancestors in their bloodlines.
One of the worst droughts in recent Czech history is still tormenting farmers, with rainfalls in October measured at just a fifth of the monthly average. The total cost of damages to Czech agriculture and forestry has been estimated to lie at around CZK 24 billion so far and some farmers say the government is not doing enough about it.
The Czech potato harvest this year looks like being up to 15 percent down
on the excellent crop of 2016, according to the Czech Potato Association.
The crop this year looks as though it will total between 600,000 to 650,000 tonnes. That is down on the almost 700,000 tonnes collected in 2016. This year’s quality promises to be excellent, according to the association.
The crop looks especially good in the Czech potato heartland, the central Vysočina region, but other areas appear to have suffered from this year’s drought.
A team led by Dr. Eva Syková, who is a senator for the Social Democrats, took payments from patients undergoing treatment for ALS at a Prague hospital even though it should have been free, according to a Czech Television report. The head of the Academy of Sciences has called for Dr. Syková to be removed as head of the Academy’s Institute of Experimental Medicine. Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Bělobrádek says she should also be dismissed from the government’s Section for Science, Research and Innovation in connection with the payments.