The origin of life

Our scientists (from the department of prof. J. Sponer) participated in the research contributing to the elucidation of the origin of life and published in PNAS. The coincidence of the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB) period and the emergence of terrestrial life about 4 billion years ago suggest that extraterrestrial impacts could contribute to the synthesis of the building blocks of the first life-giving molecules. We simulated the high-energy synthesis of nucleobases from formamide during the impact of an extraterrestrial body. A high-power laser has been used to induce the dielectric breakdown of the plasma produced by the impact. The results demonstrate that the initial dissociation of the formamide molecule could produce a large amount of highly reactive CN and NH radicals, which could further react with formamide to produce adenine, guanine, cytosine, and uracil. Based on GC-MS, high-resolution FTIR spectroscopic results, as well as theoretical calculations, we present a comprehensive mechanistic model, which accounts for all steps taking place in the studied impact chemistry. Our findings thus demonstrate that extraterrestrial impacts, which were one order of magnitude more abundant during the LHB period than before and after, could not only destroy the existing ancient life forms, but could also contribute to the creation of biogenic molecules.

The Czech Head Award received scientist from our Institute, prof. Emil Palecek

The most prestigious award for czech scientists, the Czech Head Award received our colleague, prof. Emil Palecek. Prof. E. Palecek discovered electrochemical properties of nucleic acids, which lead to a new field of science followe at present time by hundreds of teams around the world.

New publications

Benzofurazane as a New Redox Label for Electrochemical Detection of DNA: Towards Multipotential Redox Coding of DNA Bases

Balintova, J., Plucnara, M., Vidlakova, P., Pohl, R., Havran, L., Fojta, M., Hocek, M.

The Role of Adenosine Receptor Agonists in Regulation of Hematopoiesis

Hofer, M., Pospisil, M., Weiterova, L., Hoferova, Z.

Cell differentiation along multiple pathways accompanied by changes in histone acetylation status

Legartova, S., Kozubek, S., Franek, M., Zdrahal, Z., Lochmanova, G., Martinet, N., Bartova, E.
Further publications

Selected results

Osmium tetroxide, 2,2'-bipyridine (Os,bipy): Electroactive marker for probing accessibility of tryptophan residues in proteins.

Os,bipy forms at physiological conditions electroactive covalent adducts with tryptophan residues. 

Fagocyty ve zdraví a nemoci

Fagocyty (neutrofily, monocyty, makrofágy) jsou nezastupitelnými buňkami první obranné linie, chránicími tělo před invadujícími mikrobiálními patogeny. 

Unfolding/denaturation and aggregation of proteins viewed by electrochemical methods

Pioneering work of the group headed by prof. E. Paleček in the field of electrochemical analysis of proteins based on their electrocatalytic activity giving rise to “peak H”.

Further results