Martin Kopáni: I wanted to become a scientist already as a child

26. 05. 2015

A person uses variety of radiation in his life. At the doctor’s we use X-ray, when we have a cold we warm ourselves with sunlamp, in a solarium our skin turns brown due to ultraviolet radiation and television signal spreads via radio waves. Each of these radiations affects the human body. But what impact do the radio waves of a cell phone have? Do they affect us? Can they cause tumors formation? Doc. Kopáni, the guest of Bratislava scientific confectionery, covered also these topics.

doc. RNDr. Martin Kopáni, PhD., v CVTI SRDoc. RNDr. Martin Kopáni, PhD., acts as a head of the Department of Medical Physics, Biophysics, Informatics and Telemedicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the Comenius University. On 19 May 2015, he was a guest of scientific confectionery, which addressed the very topical issue: Cell phone – help or threat? On this occasion we asked him for a short interview.

1. NCP V&T: Who/what you wanted to be as a child? Have you dreamed of being a scientist back then?
M. Kopáni: Yes, even though I could not imagine what it means “to be a scientist”.

2. NCP S&T: How did you get to study medical physics, biophysics, informatics and telemedicine?
M. Kopáni: I was interested in physics, especially in astronomy, already as a small child. I also did a variety of chemical experiments. In high school, my interest in physics and chemistry intensified. At the college, I moved from astronomy to the micro world.

3. NCP S&T: What should candidates, who want to study for example medical physics or biophysics, get ready for? Can Na obrázku zo svetelného  mikroskopu je tkanivo mozgu  potkana. Modrou farbou je zobrazene železo v okolí rôznych give them some advise?
M. Kopáni: It is good if a student is interested in physics and also in biology and he is not discouraged by adverse factors from the environment.

4. NCP S&T: What are you currently devoted to in your work/research?
M. Kopáni: I deal with detection of foreign substances, particularly metals, in the cells and tissues of animals and humans via variety of techniques – especially the physical ones.  

5. NCP S&T: The lecture in our scientific confectionery was also devoted to cell phones. So how is it with them, are cell phones a threat for us?
M. Kopáni: Answer to this question is currently not definite. There are some signs that radiation from cell phones has some influence on humans. We still have to wait for a definite answer.   

6. NCP S&T: Radiation emanates for example from microwaves or from other appliances common in our homes? Are some of them dangerous?
M. Kopáni: If used correctly according to instructions and for intended purposes, they present no risk.

Tkanivo na prítomnosť cudzích látok reaguje tak, že ich „obalí“ organickým materiálom. Tento obrázok je z rastrovacieho elektrónového mikroskopu, kde častica železa je obalená organickým materiálom7. NCP S&T: Is there any kind of radiation which is beneficial for our body? 
M. Kopáni: As I mentioned in the lecture, we use various types of radiation. We use Gamma and RTG radiation in medicine for diagnosis of diseases, especially for the treatment of tumors. We use ultraviolet radiation for example for the treatment of skin diseases.  

 8.  NCP S&T: Today, many people use cell phone devices for fun in their free time. How do you spend your free time?
M. Kopáni: I like to read a good book. However, I have less and less time for that.


Photos – source: NCP S&T, Doc. RNDr. Martin Kopáni, PhD.

Interview prepared: Mgr. Viera Fábryová

Photo1: Doc. RNDr. Martin Kopáni, PhD., was the guest of Bratislava scientific confectionery, where he lectured on the topic: Cell phone – help of threat?

Photo2: The tissue of a rat brain on the picture from the light microscope. Blue color indicates iron around different cells.

Photo3: The tissue reacts to the presence of foreign substances in such way that it “coats” them with an organic material. This picture is from a scanning electron microscope, where the iron particle is coated with organic material.

Published: MI

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