Emissions from combustion engines, whether petrol or diesel, have been shown to have negative effects on human health, including causing an increased risk of cancer. In the context of efforts to improve air quality, new engines are being developed that generate less toxic substances and alternative fuels (e.g. based on petrol-ethanol blends) are also being used. While new technologies are undoubtedly a step forward in terms of the amount of pollutants produced, the impact of emissions from modern engines on human health is still not satisfactorily understood. For example, the fact that modern direct fuel injection engines produce large quantities of small particles that can potentially harm human health, but experimental evidence is not available.
A project by scientists from the IEM CAS and the Czech Technical University, supported by the Czech Science Foundation (GAČR), has focused on this topic. Within this project, Pavel Rössner‘s team focused on investigating the mechanisms of toxicity of gasoline engine emissions in 3D tissue cultures and a model bronchial epithelial cell line.
GAČR already mentions on its website (open in a new window) the second project of the IEM CAS, which received an excellent evaluation from the Presidium of the GAČR, together with the GAČR Supervisory Board and Scientific Advisory Board. This is the highest rate for projects that meet the high demands placed on scientific and research activities, contribute to the expansion of the current state of knowledge, and significantly affect the development of the relevant field, not only in the Czech scientific environment but also in the international context. In the first case, GAČR mentioned Nataliya Romanyuk‘s project focused on the role of microRNAs in nervous system injury. More information can be found on the GAČR website (open in a new window – available only in Czech).