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Olivier Kirchhoffer

Senior Scientific Editor

About Olivier

Medicinal chemist by training, Olivier is a young researcher driven by his enthusiasm about scientific progress. He believes in the interdependence of science and politics, while recognising that it is the scientist’s responsibility to adapt his speech to his audience. Olivier loves to debate about politics when he is not at work, but he is also convinced about the strength of arguments that are backed by science.

Olivier is the editor of 7 Breaks:

Making nature compute for us

Artificial intelligence is all the hype lately. Behind many of the mind-blowing breakthroughs of the past decade is a single workhorse: More compute. As engineers work hard to supply the necessary electronics, researchers are turning to less conventional ideas in hopes of finding the next big thing. We showed how to employ the complex computations nature does, free-of-charge, for neural networks.

Jan 27, 2023 | 4 min read
Understanding The Risk For Severe Outcomes Of Youth With COVID-19

The Global Pediatric Emergency Research Network (PERN)–COVID-19 Study sought to understand risk factors for severe SARS-CoV-2 infections in youth. By conducting a large prospective cohort study that included children seeking emergency department (ED) care, we were able to describe some of the risk factors associated with this particular population.

Aug 8, 2022 | 3 min read
COVID-19 during pregnancy causes fetal and placental inflammation

During pregnancy, COVID-19 presents significant risks both to the mother and the developing fetus. However, little was known about the immune responses elicited in pregnant women, and their developing fetuses, by this novel coronavirus. Therefore, we applied a multifaceted approach to characterize immune responses taking place in expectant mothers with COVID-19, their fetuses and their placentas.

Jul 28, 2022 | 3.5 min read
Blocking protein folding to fight antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics are the cornerstone of modern medicine, but their effectiveness is threatened by the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. Recent research has identified a new strategy with the potential to restore the effectiveness of a range of currently used antibiotics, including drugs of last resort.

May 13, 2022 | 4 min read
Unveiling the secrets of ancient Egyptian ink

At the dawn of recorded history, ancient Egyptians already used different colors of inks to highlight important messages on papyri. We studied the composition of 12 red and black inks on ancient Egyptian papyri (c. 100–200 CE) and were able to detect different lead-containing compounds in both red and black inks, revealing that lead was used as a dryer rather than a pigment.

Dec 22, 2021 | 3.5 min read
Equalizing strength among sexes: generalized intersexuality in female moles

Female moles develop as intersexual – they have ovotestes, containing both ovary and testicular tissues. Ovotestes produce testosterone that makes female moles stronger and more aggressive, so that they can survive a demanding underground lifestyle. We sequenced the mole genome and discovered that the shuffling of large DNA segments directed mole’s evolution towards intersexuality.

Oct 4, 2021 | 3.5 min read