Summer School in Sardinia: sounds like “holidays” but it tourned out to be an intense week. I wondered: what did the summer school do to my immune system?
June 2019 – wasn’t it a great one? We enjoyed the sun, the heat, the ice-cream that we urgently needed to survive, and the vacation days we had. Where did you go and which mode of travel did you choose? This hot summer and California flair made me think of a mode of travel which all in all has become unpopular in Germany: tramping.
While browsing through my grandparents’ house, I happened to stumble over a ‘Kalorientabelle’ – a calorie chart from a magazine (“Freundin”) from 1977. Curious how perception of food might have changed over the last 40 years, I took a closer look. The chart basically lists the number of calories per 100g of each food in a format ‘to carry with you all the time’ – … Continue reading To eat or not to eat – thoughts on nutrition from past and present
Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu, when someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too. (Author Unknown) Smiling – a common pattern that paves the way to laughter. There are many sayings about smiling, like “A smile says more than 1.000 words”, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile”, and “Life is short, smile while you still … Continue reading Time to shine – how smiling impacts our lives
Isn’t “auto” always good? Automatic parking assistant in your car, auto focus of your camera, auto heating system for your home – it just makes life so much easier! When it comes to the immune system: definitely not. In this case “auto” means “against itself”, implicating that the immune system fails to distinguish between self and foreign and damages the body’s own tissues. More than … Continue reading Living with the immune system in “auto“ mode: Coeliac disease
Lately, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change took place in Bonn. Apparently, confrontation and reflection on our planet´s global warming evokes very different associations in each and every one of us. When the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP 23) was held, I thought of the little polar bear cub named Lars because I fear that many years from now children could read … Continue reading Lonely little Lars – A polar bear’s homeland, habitat, and future
This year was the third time that I participated in the glia conference in Edinburgh. As always, it was a meaningful event for me and it gave me the opportunity to learn new things and meet interesting people. Until last year, I worked mainly on Multiple Sclerosis and hippocampal neurogenesis in the Neurology Department of the University Clinics Düsseldorf. Therefore, presenting these topics on conferences … Continue reading “Being the Englishman in New York” or Discussing Enteric Glia at a Glia meeting
Insect-based food for human purpose is now sold in Switzerland. Our neighbours have recently legalised the growing and sale of insects for food purposes, which makes them the first European country to do so. Since mid of August, mealworm-based burger patties and meatballs (where the term “meat” might be misleading) are offered in Swiss grocery stores. With my eyebrows raised to the max, I spontaneously … Continue reading Delicious and nutritious – worms, grasshoppers &co
“We can begin to dare dreaming about curing melanoma”, a sentence I’ve heard said out loud on the podium during last year’s Society of Melanoma Research (SMR) conference in Boston, the largest and most important conference for all those involved in the fight against malignant melanoma. This sentence would not have been thinkable only a few years ago. Back then, classical chemotherapy using the DNA … Continue reading Fighting Melanoma – Quantum Leap Ahead
Since my bachelor thesis I use cloning on a regular basis. Back then to transform yeast, later I needed to clone in order to perform a yeast-two-hybrid screen while now everything has shifted to the expression and modification of proteins. Cloning of plasmids is easy due to the long known and appreciated restriction enzymes. You flank your coding sequence with unique restriction sites and ligate … Continue reading Fantastic Sortases and where to find them