26. Sept. 2022

Friday, 30 September is Czech European Researchers’ Night and not only science fans will be in for a treat this year. Visitors can expect scientific lectures, experiments, workshops, exhibitions and games across Brno-based universities and research institutes. The flagship of Czech science – The Central European Institute of Technology, also known as CEITEC – will also open its gates to the general public. CEITEC´s two biggest partners, CEITEC Masaryk University (MU) and CEITEC Brno University of Technology (BUT), have prepared a number of stations where children and their parents can try out interesting experiments and explore excellent science with all their senses. The programme also offers a guided tour through the laboratories, a unique art exhibition Art in the Nanoworld, games, competitions with prizes and an entertaining accompanying programme. And because CEITEC is truly world-class, the complete programme will be available not only in Czech but also in English, so that foreigners living in Brno can explore science alongside their Czech neighbours. The gates of CEITEC MU, located on the Bohunice campus, and CEITEC BUT, located on the BUT campus, Pod Palackého vrchem, will be open to the public this Friday from 6 pm to midnight.

CEITEC MU on the Bohunice campus will invite visitors into the world of life science. Children and parents will be able to experience how scientists unravel the mysteries of viruses. Viruses are too small to be directly examined by human senses. To study them, scientists use various sophisticated techniques, such as cryo-electron microscopy. This technique allows them to explore the viral structure in molecular detail. Children can try preparing samples for cryo-electron microscopy with the help of marshmallows, make ice cream with liquid nitrogen or create flying viruses from helium foam. Meanwhile, parents can try out the process of scanning objects with an electron microscope and then reconstructing them. If anyone guesses the original model, they will be rewarded with a virus model.

Fans of genetics will also be in for a treat. A competition with an original title, How to pick up the queen of heredity, will introduce visitors to the world of genetics. The person who gets all the DNA molecules into the nucleus of a cell in the shortest time will win an individual tour of the unique genomics laboratory, where scientists can read the complete human genome, the sum of all genetic information, written using 3 trillion pairs of DNA. At the next station, children can make their own larger-than-life-size chromosome, and they can even eat it at the end!

The fascinating world of plants will not be missing. Plants are responsible for expanding life on land and creating the environment on planet Earth that we are all familiar with. Plants enable us to breathe; they feed us, clothe us, heal us, and provide us with shelter, warmth and light. Yet we still know relatively little about them. Plant scientists will give you a glimpse into the lives of plants that are so similar to us yet so different. Visitors will learn how plant research is done, and they might discover why transgenic plants can be essential and valuable to humanity. There will also be a competition with the possibility of winning an exciting prize.

Another station will showcase fruit flies, a vital model organism without which science cannot do. Scientists need fruit flies to unlock the secrets of molecular genetics. Thanks to them, researchers have discovered how cells can recognise their own molecules from viral ones, what role this mechanism plays in neurological diseases and much more. Neuroscience fans can discover the senses in their mind using the latest scientific technologies in brain research. Neuroscientists from CEITEC will present real scientific work and the mission of contemporary neuroscience research. Visiting one of the best research centres in Central Europe and experiencing science with all senses together with the people behind this research there will be surely worth it!

After a two-year covid break, the gates of CEITEC BUT located on the campus Pod Palackého vrchem will also be opened to the public. In addition to the traditional visits to the laboratories, tours and experiments, the visitors will be able to see the exhibition Art in the Nanoworld in the atrium of the main building. It was created as part of the dissertation project of Štěpánka Piskačková in cooperation with scientists from the CEITEC Nano research infrastructure. The main idea of the exhibition is to bring together representatives of two completely different disciplines, whose collaboration opens new space for creativity and allows for social overlap.

Visitors can also have a look into the so-called clean rooms, where even a mere speck of dust is as devastating to the nano sample under investigation as a falling tree. Fans of cybernetics and robotics can visit the laboratory of advanced sensors. The scientists have prepared lots of fun games and experiments for the kids. They'll be able to try out what science tastes like, see how quickly they can dress up in a space-suit-looking lab suit, how to pipette in the lab or try out the pulsating reactions of advanced materials. Visitors will also see a nanostructure from the studio VISUALOVE, loaned from the Brno Observatory and Planetarium. CEITEC BUT will surely convince everyone that physics and chemistry are important as well as entertaining!

 

Take a look at what the Researchers’ Night at CEITEC looks like. We look forward to seeing you this Friday!

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