Department of Biology and Genetics is a specialized workplace focused on pedagogical and research activities in the fields of cell and molecular biology, zoology, radiobiology, diagnostics and spread of protozoal infections, genetic prevention and environmental genotoxicity. Since 2007 Department is divided into two institutes: Institute of Biology, Zoology and Radiobiology and Institute of Genetics.
Institute of Biology, Zoology and Radiobiology focuses on the diagnosis of opportunistic pathogens at the molecular level, on the direct detection of Toxoplasma gondii, Encephalitozoon spp., Cryptosporidium spp. and Blastocystis hominis in clinical and environmental samples. The aim is to map the occurrence of individual genotypes of these opportunistic pathogens in susceptible animals in Slovakia, as well as to study their molecular-biological properties and their zoonotic potential. The institute is also focused on the monitoring of harmful effects of ionizing radiation on the living organism at the metabolic level using model organisms.
Institute of Genetics is focused on assessment of potential genotoxic effects of agrochemicals (pesticides) in cultured peripheral lymphocytes of farm animals. The evaluation of chemical substances genotoxicity is performed on the level of chromosomes and DNA. For this purpose, the Institute uses methods of chromosomal analysis, micronuclei detection, analysis of sister chromatid exchanges, fluorescence in situ hybridisation, comet assay and DNA fragmentation. The further research aim is examination of gene expression changes in the enzymes of phase II xenobiotic metabolism and acetylcholinesterase gene and influence of pesticides treatment on the enzyme activity.
Institute of Genetics also deals with molecular-genetics possibilities of detection and prevention of hereditary diseases in companion animals, particularly disorders of sexual development in dogs. As regards canine cancer (lymphomas), the research is concentrated on the detection of mutations in selected proto-oncogene and examination of expression of some canine genes.