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…

Becoming a better writer – an update

Every once in a while I use this blog as a sort of diary – to document my journey of (hopefully) becoming a better writer. Given the imminent changes in my life: becoming a mom and with that a one-year long break from lab work (perks of living in Germany), I have been pondering my…

A letter to myself.

This article was originally published on Tipbox.  Maybe I am getting old or its impending motherhood, but I am finally realising that nobody can make it on their own. Not in science. Not anywhere else. And I wish I knew this earlier. Starting my PhD, 8 years or what feels like a lifetime ago, I…

Vaccines by John Oliver – watch it!

Most people know John Oliver from his shows about Donald Trump. But I love it when he does sciences. I have mentioned his pieces on science journalism before in a blog I did on the topic relating to a new “cancer cure” and this week he dedicated his time to vaccinations. A topic we have…

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…

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…

Marathon sniffles

To view this post in german click here/ Für die deutsche Version hier klicken: I like to run. At the end of September I run my 6th marathon and fell ill the week after. Again. This has happened to me nearly every time post marathon. Isn’t running supposed to improve our health? Time to find…

Monograph or cumulative: what is the best way to write a PhD thesis

To view this post in german click here/ Für die deutsche Version hier klicken: In the UK PhD theses are monographs. So back in 2012, when I wrote my thesis I produced roughly 300 pages on what I had done over the last three years. Four result chapters. Introduction, methods and discussion. But theses do…

The Plague in the USA. Wait what?

To view this post in german click here/ Für die deutsche Version hier klicken: On my recent trip to the USA, I was hiking in the Grand Canyon and came across the sign pictured above. While I agree with the notion of not interacting, e.g. feeding or trying to pet, wild-life, I laughed at the…

BREXIT: From a scientists point of view

As a scientist, mobility is part of our job. As a German national, I have lived in France to gain lab experience before going to the UK for my PhD and a short post-doc. The fact that I didn’t need work permits or visas made this a lot easier. Shockingly the UK has now optioned…

Reports of a universal cancer vaccine: too good to be true

To view this post in german click here/ Für die deutsche Version hier klicken: Headlines like “We’re fighting cancer with a universal vaccine” and statements such as “A vaccine could be developed which could be used against all cancers”  are what’s wrong with science journalism, because they are far from the truth hidden in this study published in Nature. When most people…

Exchanging macrophages in Alzheimer’s disease brains

To view this post in german click here/ Für die deutsche Version hier klicken In October 2015, the Journal of Experimental Medicine published two papers on the effect of peripheral (outside the brain) myeloid cells on Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a disease manifesting itself in the brain. Both publications depleted brain-resident macrophages and allowed the open…

Being immune privileged does not mean the immune system can’t see you!

To view this post in german click here/ Für die deutsche Version hier klicken: The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system, similar to the cardiovascular system, but instead of blood that carries nutrients and oxygen, the lymphatic system circulates lymph, the extracellular fluid from within tissues containing cellular waste and excess water (called…

Sunshine and the immune system

To view this post in German click here/ Für die deutsche Version hier klicken: Summer is here (YEAH) and everyone is going outside to enjoy the sun. We all know the risk of the sun in terms of cancer, but I wondered what does the sun do to our immune system? Is the sun good…