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The glass glowing palm is a permanent exhibit of the Institute of Microbiology of the CAS at the World Exhibition in Dubai. The project called Alga Oasis artistically represents a model of a photobioreactor for growing algae which provide a nutritionally rich source of food. It can be seen in the Czech Pavilion at Expo 2020.

Microscopic algae are essentially a small factory producing valuable substances for modern biotechnology. Many of today's problems such as the lack of quality food can be solved with algae. The idea of presenting this process to the public in an artistic form was born. The proposal fitted well with the concept of the Czech pavilion "Connecting minds, building the future".
"The exhibit is really exceptional, both in terms of the idea and scientifically and artistically. It perfectly represents the cutting-edge research of the Academy of Sciences and Czech science as a whole," says Eva Zažímalová, President of the Czech Academy of Sciences.
The object responds to the viewer
The production of Alga Oasis (alga, Latin for algae, Oasis) took over a year and each element is unique, made specifically for this project to withstand the extreme conditions of the Arabian Peninsula's outdoor environment.
Alga Oasis is inspired by photobioreactor technology. It is a freestanding object made of circularly arranged glass tubes that form a dynamically shaped stylized palm tree that emits light. A liquid bubbles inside the glass tubes, with bubbles being created where the viewer moves. The object also responds to the viewer by changing the light scheme.
The action inside the exhibit is explained by a central strip of light with pictorial light illustrations. Animation is also included and can be viewed on personal devices connected to the internet.
"It is a great honour for the Institute of Microbiology of the Academy of Sciences and its workplace in Třeboň that we have the opportunity to participate in this prestigious exhibition", notes the director of the workplace Jiří Hašek.
The author of Alga Oasis is multimedia artist Michal Kohút, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. His work combines approaches between artistic techniques and technologies from different disciplines. His typical handwriting is a combination of dynamism with subtlety and attention to detail.
The time of microscopic algae as a food source may come with the increasing number of people on the planet or the deteriorating conditions for traditional agriculture due to climate change. Even if microscopic algae will not become a mass food replacing cereals in the next few years, they still have great potential for humans.
In addition to Alga Oasis, the Czech Academy of Sciences is represented at the World Expo by other institutes. The main exhibit in the Czech pavilion is the S.A.W.E.R. system which produces water from dry desert air using only solar energy. This then irrigates a garden planted in the Dubai sands and demonstrates how to create an oasis in the desert. The desert cultivation device was developed by the Institute of Botany of the CAS.
In February 2022, the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic will take up the baton in a rotating exhibition with the theme Energy the Smart Way. It will be possible to see i.e. tokamak – the device for production of energy by thermonuclear fusion. There will be concept of the boat that disposes waste from the plastic islands in the seas with minimal residual non-recyclable waste.

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Řasy jako továrna na cenné látky – Akademie věd se představuje na výstavě Expo -, Bronislav Samson