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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 9 Breaks:

How cellular transport can be explained with a flip book

All cells, from bacteria to humans, need to be able to transport substances from their inside to the outside and vice-versa. To understand how this transport works, scientists often had to remove transporters from their natural environment to study them, which may significantly alter their behavior. What if a “cellular” flip book was created to better mimic a transporter’s motions?

Jun 5, 2023 | 3 min read
Drought may have prompted the Vikings’ departure from Greenland

The reason why the Vikings left Greenland in the early 15th century remains unclear. The declining temperature during the Little Ice Age had been thought to be one of the important factors. However, new evidence suggests that increasingly dry conditions played a more important role in undermining the viability of the Norse Settlement than minor temperature changes.

Apr 20, 2023 | 4 min read
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