Marburg & Ebola Viruses Old and New

Hans-Dieter Klenk was born in 1938 in Cologne, Germany. From 1985 to 2007 he was Professor of Virology and Head of the Department of Virology of the University of Marburg where he is now Professor emeritus. His research has focused on the structure and function of enveloped viruses (influenza viruses, paramyxoviruses, filoviruses) with special emphasis […]

Creating Spiderman

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the cinema to watch The Amazing Spider-Man. When the words “DNA” and “recombination” popped up during the film, I got excited and started thinking. I later asked myself: In reality, how close are we to creating artificial hybrid species? Let’s briefly revisit the idea of Spider-Man, a.k.a. Peter Parker. Parker […]

News round-up: Space-Age China, In-Utero Surgery, Signing Physics, Sexist Science & H5N1 Published

Chinese astronauts reach orbiting space lab Image: Xinhua/Wang Yongzhuo via Xinhuanet China’s Shenzhou 9 rocket – which last week became the first Chinese mission to carry a female astronaut – has successfully docked with the orbiting Tiangong-1 station 340 km (210 miles) above the Earth. The arrival of the three crewmembers marks the first time […]

AIDS anniversary

On June 5th, 1981, the Center for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published the first report of AIDS. Entitled ‘5 cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP)’, it included case studies of five previously healthy young men, all homosexuals, who had been treated for PCP, a lung condition normally seen only in severely […]

Going viral

As a potential threat to the end of humanity pandemics seem popular candidates, in Hollywood at least. The emergence of new diseases is often accompanied by media frenzy and widespread fear. In Hollywood films, the disease is often the consequence of human manipulation and conveniently has symptoms which provide a commentary on the nature of […]