Welcome to Microbial Mondays!
Why should I care?
Microbes are constantly changing the world around us, in all sorts of little seen and unseen ways! From outbreaks of the bubonic plague to outbreaks of SARS, from the yeast used in ancient beers to the yeast in your Mum's sourdough starter: microbes shape human experiences, history, and society (or should I say 'culture'... get it?) every day. "How could I not care?" is perhaps a better question!
I'm fascinated by microbes: from viruses to bacteria to fungi and more. To be honest, it is equal parts the science and the human element of microbes that thrills me. I'm fascinated with these little bugs not only because they outnumber us humans, but also because of how much microbes shape our lives - and the course of human history.
Check out this video to hear about some of ways that microbes impact us humans - and why you should care about our little microbial buddies, too.
To see more films like this, be sure to subscribe to Alex Goes Viral on YouTube!
Film Sponsored by FameLab Netherlands.
Filmed and produced by Niels de Groot www.promotionfilm.nl
Saving Officer Kane
What do SARS-CoV-2 and the Alien (from the 1979 sci fi film) have in common? Let's find out!
With this 3-minute jargon-free pitch about my research, I progressed to the international finals of the 2021 FameLab science communication competition.
How does your body beat a virus?
The cells in your body are wonderfully trained soldiers, fighting any virus or bacteria invading your body. In this video, made in collaboration with Universiteit van Nederland, I explain how your body's defense system works, and how your cells can be trained to fight infections even better.
How does our immune system conquer viruses? And how we can study it? I explain how we can study the battle between our immune systems, and the viruses that infect us in the lab - in the style of The Queen's Gambit Be prepared - the explanation includes some buckets of... human skin?
This video was made as a part of the #FameLabInternational2021 science communication competition, and at the end you can hear the Q-and-A session together with the judges of the Final that I was in. And I am delighted to tell you that this was the winning pitch of the 2021 International competition competition!
How to declutter your viruses
“Just like our homes, cells can accumulate all kinds of stuff. But with cells the clutter consists of viruses. Cells use autophagy to collect these viruses, break them up and remove them. Just like we humans do when we are cleaning our house. By understanding autophagy, we can finetune it, helping our body to fight diseases like HIV.”
With this 3-minute jargon-free pitch about my research, I won the 2021 Dutch National FameLab final.