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

Hyaluronan minimizes effects of UV irradiation on human keratinocytes

Hasova, M., Crhak, T., Safrankova, B., Dvorakova, J., Muthny, T., Velebny, V., Kubala, L.

Native and denatured forms of proteins can be discriminated at edge plane carbon electrodes

Ostatna, V., Cernocka, H., Kurzatkowska, K., Palecek, E.

Possible mechanisms responsible for absence of a retrotransposon family on a plant Y chromosome

Kubat, Z., Zluvova, J., Vogel, I., Kovacova, V., Cermak, T., Cegan, R., Hobza, R., Vyskot, B., Kejnovsky, E.
Further publications

Selected results

Novel strategies of labeled nucleic acids construction and their application in electrochemical DNA sensing

Collaboration with the group of M. Hocek at the IOCB ASCR in Prague resulted in development of novel facile techniques of enzymatic construction of modified nucleic acids.

Komplexy platiny a ruthenia: Od poškození DNA k léčbě rakoviny

Oddělení Molekulární biofyziky a farmakologie Biofyzikálního ústavu AV ČR, v.v.i. v Brně vedené prof. RNDr. Viktorem Brabcem, DrSc. se zabývá studiem molekulárních mechanismů protinádorové účinnosti komplexů přechodných kovů moderními metodami molekulární biofyziky a biologie. 

Detecting DNA damage and monitoring of enzymatic DNA processing by electrochemical methods

Electrochemical approaches have been applied to detect specific nucleobase lesions and to design fast techniques for the monitoring of DNA-processing enzymes activity.

Further results