Excursions for English-speaking school classes (Week of the Czech Academy of Sciences)

4 November 2022
IOCB Prague, Flemingovo nám. 2, Prague 6–Dejvice
Excursions for English-speaking school classes (Week of the Czech Academy of Sciences)

As part of the Week of the Czech Academy of Sciences at IOCB, we offer excursions to our labs for English-speaking school classes (for students 13+).

School groups are welcome to come visit our laboratories on Friday, 4 November from 9am to 12pm.

If you are interested in a program for Czech-speaking schools, please go here.

Other events of the Week of the Czech Academy of Sciences at IOCB Prague can be found here.


Excursions are intended for students ages 13 and older (8th grade of elementary school and 3rd grade of 8-year high schools).

For safety and practical reasons, a maximum of 12 students with a teacher (13 persons in total) may participate in each presentation. If you are planning to come with a larger group of students, please divide them into several smaller groups and book a separate program for each group; the groups can then swap programs to ensure everyone sees the same presentations.


  • You can book the program for your class here. [REGISTRATION IS CLOSED]


Colors helping scientists

How do you know when a berry is ripe and safe to eat and which ones should be left alone? Or how can you tell a red amanita mushroom from a penny bun at a distance? By color, or course. Scientists also use light and color to make scientific discoveries. In our lab, you'll see smart chemicals that change color to show us what’s going on at the molecular level.

Drug discovery

Developing a new drug is neither an easy nor a quick process. Where does one begin? What criteria must a molecule meet in order to become a drug? Together we’ll take a close look at the process of developing a drug.

Fluorescence in action

Fluorescence is the ability of molecules to emit colored light. The phenomenon often accompanies scientists in their first steps on the path to developing new drugs, most often those targeting enzymes, i.e. molecular machines that catalyze chemical reactions in living organisms. In our laboratory, you can see with your own eyes how we use fluorescence to purify enzymes and test potential drugs.

Microscopy and microscopes

The history of microscopes, from Leeuwenhoek to the present day.

Neurosteroids in health and disease

Neurosteroids are synthetic derivatives of naturally occurring steroids that play important role in physiology and disease. We’ll explain the difference between steroids that act as hormones (estradiol, testosterone) and neurosteroids that can be used as drugs for treatment of various diseases of the central nervous system. We’ll also talk about neurosteroid allopregnanolone, the first-in-class drug approved in 2019 for treatment of postpartum depression and other novel neurosteroids currently being tested in various human clinical trials.

The secrets of elements

Have you ever wondered if your gold ring is truly made of gold? In our laboratory, you’ll see methods that can answer that question. Methods for investigation of elemental composition often use light or radiation. When samples are excited using X-rays, a flame, or even argon plasma hotter than the surface of the Sun, they emit a characteristic radiation that contains information on the elements present in the sample and their amounts. Come and be excited too!

The world of RNA vaccines

How do cells use basic mechanisms to fight infectious diseases? RNA molecules play many important roles in cells, one of the best known of which is the transfer of genetic information from DNA to the part of the cell where protein synthesis occurs. The molecules function like an imaginary recipe in a huge DNA cookbook, and it’s likely that RNA played a key role in the origin of life on Earth. Moreover, these natural molecules can easily be prepared under laboratory conditions. The fact that RNA is intrinsic to the body and that a suitable recipe for synthetizing any protein can be written into it offers great hope for the development of gentle and effective next-generation vaccines. Come and learn more about these exciting molecules!

The oldest social insects and their extraordinary chemical world

In ancient prehistory, in the shadow of the dinosaurs, the first termite mounds began to grow. These creatures, at first sight seemingly insignificant, gradually came to occupy the entire tropical zone, where they assumed the role of main wood decomposer. For over a hundred million years in their dark world, termites have perfected communication through scents, invented ever new chemicals for their military arsenal, and even laid the foundations of agriculture by growing mushrooms. Thanks to their resilience, they’ve survived every catastrophe, and today they keep our planet’s forests functioning properly. Come and see their fascinating world, in both our simulated rainforest and our ethology lab.

Unknown DNA

When we say DNA, most of us probably imagine a nice double-helix and think about genes. But DNA also has other less traditional functions, and those are what our lab focuses on. In fact, we consider them so interesting that we want to make them famous. During our session, we’ll show you how we find short specific DNA sequences capable of triggering chemical reactions. Moreover, you’ll get to prepare some of the reactions with your own two hands and observe their progression using several of the techniques that we routinely apply in our research.

Viruses: knowing the enemy

We’ll introduce the most interesting viruses in the world and talk about the laboratory and personal safety procedures when working with hazardous viruses. We’ll also show you a video from a bio-safety level 3 laboratory, where we work with viruses and search for new therapeutics to combat viral diseases.

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