Why shingles are much worse than you think

On the heels of the day-care colds came the shingles. Even as immunologist, I knew little about the disease. I knew it’s caused by the same virus as the chickenpox and manifests with a rash. I admit, I thought that is it – a rash. I had no idea how painful and dangerous it can…

Combining fall with day-care is a  recipe for disaster

Fall has started and so has the season for colds and the flu. Perfect timing to start our introduction to day-care. It took a whole week before the little man started sneezing and his nose started running non-stop. I fell ill soon after. We are now going on three weeks, I can’t tell when one…

Wow, your immune system smells good…

To view this post in german click here/ Für die deutsche Version hier klicken: For the second instalment of the new baby science category, we’ll look at an early event in the baby making process. At choosing a mate. Scientific evidence suggests that we choose our mates, at least in part, based on scent, including the odour…

I march for basic research

This post was also published on the Real Scientists.  To view this post in german click here/ Für die deutsche Version hier klicken: This Saturday, the 22nd of April, scientists will take to the streets in 518 cities. This is a rare event given that scientists tend to live for their research. In their own little bubble…

Ich demonstriere für die Grundlagenforschung

Diese Blog wurde auch auf Real Scientist De veröffentlicht. To view this post in English click here/ Für die englische Version hier klicken: Dieser Samstag, der 22. April 2017, stellt ein seltenes Ereignis dar. In 518 Städten weltweit werden Wissenschaftler auf die Straße gehen. Und das obwohl Wissenschaftler eigentlich dazu neigen für ihre Forschung zu leben. In…

Baby science

Regular readers may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as often as before. I have been somewhat distracted recently… But why not combine what is happening with this blog. So in a new section I will be talking about science around babies (yes this is a strange kind of announcement 😉 👶). When scientists…

The bone marrow is no longer alone – the lung also makes blood cells

To view this post in german click here/ Für die deutsche Version hier klicken: In this month’s “Paper Of The Month”, research out of UCSF demonstrates that the lung is the main producer of platelets. So far scientist believed that all blood cells – from pathogen-fighting white blood cells to red blood cells that transport…

New ways to treat Zika

To view this post in german click here/ Für die deutsche Version hier klicken: The pandemic outbreak of the Zika virus in Central and South America as well as the Caribbean, and its link to microcephaly in newborn babies led the WHO to declare the virus a global emergency. No vaccine or therapy currently exists,…

Real fact: Donald Trump is dangerous for science and public health

Watching the inauguration and subsequent protest (#WomensMarch) unfold over the weekend, I came across #USofScience. The hashtag was used by scientist to protest. More importantly it also highlighted why science is important and should have the full support of politicians and the public. In the USA this support is questionable, at best, for the next…

My goals for 2017

I don’t normally do New Year’s resolutions. They never last with me. Seeing lots of resolutions from fellow #scicommers on twitter though, I thought about my goals for writing this year. What do I want to achieve this year? What do I need to do to eventually make the transition from lab to laptop? Read…

Wie Antibiotika gegen Viren helfen können

To view this post in english click here/ Für die englische Version hier klicken: Antibiotika hemmen das Wachstum von Bakterien und werden deshalb häufig verschrieben wenn Patienten an bakteriellen Infektionen leiden. Antibiotika blockieren spezifisch Bakterien. Sie helfen nicht gegen Viren. Trotzdem gab es in letzter Zeit Schlagzeilen wie “Ein bereits im Einsatz befindliches Antibiotikum kann…

Antibiotics against viruses

To view this post in german click here/ Für die deutsche Version hier klicken: Antibiotics block bacterial growth and are routinely prescribed to patients suffering from bacterial infections. They do not help against viruses. So somewhat surprisingly headlines like “An already in-use antibiotic may limit Zika infections” have been hitting the news recently. But how…

Marathonschnupfen

To view this post in english click here/ Für die englische Version hier klicken: Ich laufe. Ich laufe sogar sehr gerne. Ende September bin ich meinen 6. Marathon gelaufen. Danach war ich krank. Mal wieder. Das ist mir jetzt fast jedes Mal nach dem Marathon passiert. Soll Laufen nicht eigentlich die Gesundheit fördern? Zeit herauszufinden…

Can the brain control the immune system?

To view this post in German click here/ Für die deutsche Version hier klicken: The brain is the central “control system” for the functions of our body. Our muscles, for example, move because nerve fibres attached to the muscles transport information from the brain to initiate muscle contraction, resulting in movement. The question posed in…