Department of biophysics Palacky University

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Research Activities

Plant stresses (people: Arnoštová, Baránková, Husičková, Ilík, Kouřil, Kučerová, Lazár, Lyu, Melkovičová, Nauš, Nosek, Nožková, Pavlovič, Stolárik, Špundová)
Unfavourable (stress) environmental conditions significantly affect biophysical processes in plants, including photosynthesis, respiration or transport of metabolites and other substances. The investigation of these changes plays crucial role in our understanding of the life strategy of plants in changing environment. We use a number of traditional as well as modern physical and chemical methods (e.g. content of photosynthetic pigments and pigment-protein complexes, measurement of chlorophyll fluorescence parameters, CO2 assimilation, oxygen production, optical spectra of leaves, enzyme activities or electric potentials spreading through the injured plant). The experimentally obtained data we also theoretically simulate using mathematical models that describe physical background of the given processes.

Reactive oxygen species in living systems (people: Ferretti, Kale, Kumar, Pathak, Pospíšil, Rác)
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) is biologically very important group of molecules that are generated via excitation or partial reduction of molecular oxygen. ROS are formed in living systems during many metabolic processes and are - due to their ability to damage cells - connected to aging and a number of diseases. We study namely the production of ROS in chloroplasts during the light phase of photosynthesis and the role of ROS in the response of plants to stress conditions. We use traditional absorption and fluorescence detection methods, but also electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR spin-trapping spectroscopy) and detection of ultraweak photon emission.

Structure-function properties of nucleic acids and proteins (people: Brabec, Čechová, Hrabina, Kašpárková, Kubala, Machalová Šišková, Prachařová, Šeflová)
We are interested namely in modifications of nucleic acids (primarily DNA) induced by cytostatics derived from complexes of transition metals (platinum, ruthenium, osmium). We investigate mechanisms participating in recognition of these modifications in cells and analyze the possibilities of their reparation. The outcomes of our research contribute to the clarification of molecular mechanisms of anti-cancer effects of various compounds and help to develop new anti-cancer drugs. We also intensively study the structure and function of sodium-potassium pump (Na+/K+-ATPase), a highly important membrane protein that is necessary for maintaining homeostasis of animal cells. We use modern fluorescence methods as well as methods of molecular biology. In cooperation with the Department of Physical Chemistry we also model 3D-structures of important proteins and their dynamics.

Human voice and function of vocal folds (people: Bainac, Phadke, Subbaraj, Šrámková, Švec)
We are interested in biomechanics and physiological acoustics of human voice. We study the processes of vocal fold vibrations in healthy individuals and patients with various voice disorders in order to improve their diagnostics. To monitor vocal fold vibrations we use modern method – videokymography. Singing voice is also a subject of our research; we study namely biomechanical, acoustical and physiological processes.

Department of Biophysics

Faculty of Science

Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic

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