Karl Gruber


I grew up in a small town in the South of Panama, in an English/Spanish environment as my father was an English teacher, whereas my mother was a teacher of Spanish and other subjects. As a result, I spoke pretty good English very early in my life, which made me a bit of an oddity in my School where fellow student were struggling to learn this language. I have always been interest in Natural Sciences and enjoyed explaining science to anyone who would listen. After High School, I went on to become a biologist, and started a career in basic research working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Here, I built my scientific base, learning about evolution at the level of DNA in various organism, including bees, snails, and spiny rats. After a bit more than three years I decided to do Graduate Studies and went on to the University of Minnesota to pursue a Master of Science. I entered the world of journalism by pure chance, answering a request for science writers at an European Science magazine called Lab Times, where I still work as a freelancer. My first article was published in February 22, 2011. I saved this publication for framing, as it marked a special moment in my life: the moment I realized I love writing. Since that first publication I engaged in as much science writing as I could. In 2011 alone I published 15 articles in Lab Times, and in 2012 I decided to write for new places. As a result, in 2012 alone, I published more than 40 articles in a variety of places, including Lab Times, Science Now, New Scientist, The Lancet, Science News for Kids, The Pain Research Forum, The Munich Eye, GEN, and an invited article for the European Food Information Council. I have also served as a reviewer for PLoS One and Journal of Heredity, and I currently work as a freelance Academic Editor for Cactus Communications, where I edit articles aimed for peer-reviewed journals. I also have experience writing grants and peer-reviewed papers, since my time as a Bachelor student. I currently work as Editor for The Munich Eye, where I am in charge of the Science and Technology section of the paper and online edition.
Role: Managing Editor, Science
No. of articles: 125
Email: Please use the contact form to contact Karl Gruber.

New Disease Points to Arab Bats

Egyptian tomb bat (Taphozous perforatus)
A new mysterious disease made its first appearance last summer in the Arabian Peninsula and has been baffling health...

LMU Munich Creates World's First MERS Vaccine

In the event of a MERS epidemic, the vaccine is ready for production and distribution
LMU researchers, led by Dr. Gerd Sutter, have developed the first vaccine against the MERS virus, responsible for the...

Arabian Bats May Harbour New Deadly Virus

A new mysterious disease made its first appearance last summer in the Arabian Peninsula and has been baffling health...

The End Of All Coral Reefs?

Carnegie Institution for Science's Ken Caldeira takes a water sample at Australia's Great Barrier Reef. His research estimates that this an all other reefs could die by the century's end.
Coral reefs from all around the world may die by the end of this century, say researchers. Accelerated carbon dioxide...

Germany says: we want you!

Germany Wants You
The German Government has published a list of job vacancies aimed at non-EU citizens. Working in Europe is the dream of...

Social networking makes lemurs smarter

Ringed-tail lemurs
Human evolution has been marked by two major milestones: an increase in brain size and the development of social groups....

Ancient DNA Uncovered From the Ocean Floor

What is there to do in the middle of the South Atlantic where the ocean is almost empty, no birds, few fish and very...

Crows Know When You're Looking at Them

Source: Wikipedia.
Crows can tell if you are looking at them, and respond accordingly. The finding is the first of its kind in a wild animal....

Unlocking the Secret of Regeneration

Credit: Thomas Braun
Newts and salamanders are known for their ability to grow new limbs after injury, yet little is known about the inner...

Good Genes, Bad Genes, Who Knows...

A portion of a DNA double-strand. Source: Wikipedia.
Genetic testing aims to find altered genes that could lead to a disease, and give doctors a head start in finding the best...

Did you know...

...blind patients can read words thanks to eye prostheses. Using a neuroprosthetic device, a blind patient has been able...

World's oldest panda comes from Spain

Source: Wikipedia
The panda might not strike you as the most Spanish of animals, but is seems that 11 million years ago it roamed on Spanish...

Pay your bills wherever you are, online or offline

Source: Payleven
Payleven (https://payleven.de/) wants to change the way you pay for pretty much everything that you need. In our mobile...

The Story Behind the Apple

Source: Wikipedia
The Apple logo is one of the most well known logos in the world. You can scarcely go a day without coming across it....

Extra-terrestrial life may exist just around the corner

This artist's impression shows HD40307g in the foreground (on the left hand side), with its host star HD40307 and two other planets in the system (on the right-hand side). The depicted atmosphere and continents are not detected or constrained by this work. Credit: J. Pinfield, for the RoPACS network at the University of Hertfordshire.
A new planet, which may have an Earth-like environment, has just been found not too far away from our planet. An...

How to Resurrect a Wet Phone

Source: Wikipedia
It can happen when you least expect it. You could be getting a drink at a bar, having a meal with friends or family, or...

Boredom, Not Just in Your Head

Source: Wikipedia
Watching grass grow. Observing paint dry. Falling asleep during a particularly bad television show. Everyone has...

How RNA helps

Damage to our DNA can lead to serious, sometimes fatal consequences, which is why understanding the different response...

Back to school? May be not for 2000 english students

On late August of this year the United Kingdom Border Agency announced its decision to revoke London Metropolitan...

Zombie satellites come to life!

DARPA
Have you ever wondered what we are doing with all those old satellites orbiting the earth, which are now no more than...

Fish in space!

Credit: AXA
Fish in aquariums are a favorite for relaxation and hobby, at least here on Earth. Now, researchers from the Japanese...

New coat makes car washes obsolete

bikini wash
Researchers have invented a new type of coating material, one that is able to "fix" itself after scratches or other types...

Chemical may soon cure blindness

Source: http://morguefile.com
An international team of researchers, which included Dr. Dirk Trauner from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, has...

Yeast's winter digs

paulaner
Researchers report online on July 30, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that the common yeast,...

BPA-induced reproduction

BPA, a chemical commonly used in plastic bottles, DVDs, hockey helmets and cans of food causes fish to change their...

Light-induced behaviour

Pulses of blue light are able to activate brain cells and control specific behaviors in rhesus monkeys, according to work...

How animals find the North

Rainbow trout. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org
Munich researchers find the elusive cellular basis of how animals use Earth's magnetic field to navigate. We all know...

Did you know... Dopamine can make you fly!

But not like that. A new study, published online on July 13 in Current Biology, reports that increased levels of this drug...

Chicken research: A new deadly viral strain, and a new weapon against cancer.

chickens
Two recent articles on chickens report some amazing and unexpected results. First, in a study published online on July 10...

Gloves translate sign-language into spoken words

A team of students from Ukraine have designed gloves that recognize hand movements, such as those used in sign language....

A fast evolving new species of wheat fungus

Zymoseptoria
Farmers and governments alike fear the emergence of new pest species, as they are more likely to develop pesticide...

If you were not convinced last week after reading our article on this topic, here are some more reas

Sleep
First, because it will help you keep happy memories. Sleep, it seems, protects positive memories (and also negative ones),...

Spreading your fingers improves your swimming

swiming
Record-breaking swimmer Michael Phelp has everything he needs to be a phenomenon in the pool: he's tall, has a long torso,...

Mars, the red watery planet

Mars image from NASA Hubble Space Telescope Collection.
A new study suggests that the interior of Mars harbours massive amounts of liquid water, comparable to amounts found on...

Mind-reading speller: can write down words straight out of your thoughts

A participant focuses at a display that guides the letter encoding. The person generates a specific brain activation pattern. This activation pattern is allocated to the letter
Forget voice recognition software. Now, researchers have come up with a device that can literally read your mind and...

A molecular theory that satisfies your palate

Image copyright: Foodpairing.com 2012
Image copyright: Foodpairing.com 2012 Do you like coffee and milk? How about chocolate and peanut butter? Or wine and cheese? Some foods simply go together...

Dino stories from LMU Munich, part II

Tyrannosaurus rex is part of the carnivorous groups of dinosaurs that, according to new research, maintained a stable level of biodiversity leading up to the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous.(AMNH/J. Brougham)
Traditionally, conclusions about why dinosaurs went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period (65.5 million years ago)...

Birds stop fighting when things get tough

A group of jointing-nesting Taiwan yuhina huddle together. Yuhinas have been found to be more cooperative in unfavourable environments. Credit: Y.-D. Linv
Researchers from Taiwan found a bird species that becomes more cooperative when hit by unfavourable environmental...

Vampire Jumping Spider lust for bloody mosquitoes

Credit: Robert Jackson
Evarcha culicivora is a jumping spider native of Kenya, where it is also known as the vampire spider, because of the...

World's first chemical circuit designed

Chemical chip in the body. The chemical chip can control the delivery of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Photo courtesy: LiU/Ingemar Franzen
Swedish researchers have created the elementary building blocks of logic circuits based  on ion transistors, capable...

Allergies on the rise, but your gut may help you fight them

An early spring can wreak havoc on one's allergies
On one hand, new research shows that pollen levels, a common cause of allergies, have been increasing for the past 10...

Munich researchers use DNA to design novel nano-scale structures with special optical properties

Munich researchers use DNA to design novel nano-scale structures.
Munich researchers use DNA to design novel nano-scale structures with special optical properties The team used a recently...
Source: Wikipedia.

Researchers Create a Hangover-Free, Rehydrating Beer

Researchers have crafted a new breed of beer, containing electrolytes like those found in sport drinks, decreasing the...
A familiar voice is usually recognized between other voices, but as we age, maybe we can select not to hear them

Science Explains Why You Forgot To Take Out The Trash

It's often nice to hear a familiar voice, but sometimes we're also guilty of tuning out wives, husbands, parents and even...
Snails, as some other gastropods, have coiled shells, Dpp protein seems to be the clue

Scientists Explain Why Snails Have A Twisted Shell

Molecules called morphogens control the shapes of organisms. One morphogen, Dpp, makes most snail shells coil to the right...

Nuts and Guts For A Long And Healthy Live

Three recent studies look at gut microbiota, the Mediterranean diet and nuts and their effects on health and lifespan Put...
Online universities courses are developing more interactive activities for more effective learning

New wave of online courses

Online courses in the past have been little more than long lectures simply posted online for students that could not get...
Angela Merkel visits Dachau

Angela Merkel in Dachau

This week, Angela Merkel became the first German chancellor to visit Nazi concentration camp Dachau, near Munich. This was...
Source: Wikipedia.

Our Alien Gold

    All the gold on earth is alien. Every atom of the precious metal probably came to us from violent collisions of...
Credit:  Robert Tropek

An Unlikely New Home For Insects

Fly ash deposits, by-products of coal combustion produced around energy power stations, have been found to serve as an...
Source: Wikipedia.

A single gene for claustrophobia?

Do you panic when you are in a small space? Do you sweat, or shake; does your heart pound? A study in the March issue of...
Crab Nebula, Wikipedia.

Celestial Music, at your fingertips

In the renaissance an scholar was considered educated only after mastering the so-called "quadrivium", which consisted of...
Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Snail reveals ancient human migration routes

The genetic similarity between one variety of common garden snails found in Ireland and the Pyrenees, in Southern Europe,...
Young fruit fly larvae attacking an old dead larvae. (Credit Dr Roshan Vijendravarma/University of Lausanne)

Why do some animals turn cannibalistic?

Under the right circumstances, fruit flies can evolve cannibalistic behavior, a new study says.  While cannibalism was...

The Secret Is In The Skin

Short amino acid chains form effective skin protection in Apalone spinifera turtles An Italian research team found that...

Evolution in the fast lane for bacteria

It seems that bacteria are putting their genetic stability at risk in a bid to strike it lucky and acquire mutations that...
Source: morguefile.com

Gut Bacteria: A 100 Trillion Guests?

New research shows that our body chooses which microorganism can live in our gut. The human gastrointestinal (GI) tract...
Source: morguefiles.com

Bigfoot Genome Sequenced, Perhaps

"Bigfoot is real, according to genetic analysis." This bold statement appears on the website of a new journal, where its...
Therizinosaurs of the genus Nothronychus. Source: Wikipedia.

Why Dinosaurs got so big?

A new study defies previous theories of why dinosaurs got so big. The real reason may not be so clear cut. Just before...
Source: Wikipedia.

For These Apes Social Networking is Worth More Than Food

Bonobos will share some bread with strangers rather than with old friends, new research shows. The finding, led by Dr....
Source: Wikipedia

How plants helped us evolve

A lesser known hypothesis suggesting that our relationship with fruit may have helped us evolve into humans, gains new...
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Evolution in mosaic

A controversial idea of how evolution works gains new support. Mosaic evolution is a long-discussed and still...

Meet the new real-life Transformer Robot Car

Recently, Japanese hobbyist Kenji Ishida revealed a new version of his real-life, remote controlled, Transformer Robot...
High-Resolution Self-Portrait by Curiosity Rover Arm Camera. Source: Nasa

Curiosity's Martian Odyssey

Not too long ago, Curiosity touched down on Mars, in a feat most only thought possible in the craziest of sci-fi movies....
Source: Wikipedia

How hermit crabs solve housing problems

Most animals form groups to protect themselves against harm or predators, or to procure food, and these behaviors have one...
Drosera glanduligera. Source: Wikipedia.

The world's fastest carnivorous plant

Plants can't move very fast; or this has been the common assumption among biologists and common people alike. But now,...
Source: Wikipedia

Did you know...

that robot bees may soon be a reality?Researchers at the University of Sheffield, UK, have teamed up with scientists at...
Male Pelvicachromis about to prey upon an amhipod. Image credit: Denis Meuthen

A fish that can see more than red

Dogs can hear sounds we can't, and many other animals can see light beyond our human "visual spectrum," such as...
Source: Wikipedia

Our unique primate eyes

Humans and other anthropoid primates (monkeys and apes) are the only groups of day-active mammals who have not retained...
Source: http://www.simtd.de

Test driving the cars of the future

Nobody enjoys being stuck in traffic or having to deal with the aftermath of a car accident. Not only are they both...
Credit: N. Iwai

A frog's mighty thumb

New research, led by Dr. Norikio Iwai, from the University of Toky reports on a unique and odd finding. The Otton frog,...
Source: Wikipedia

Spider web electronics

Beautiful and exceptionally strong, spider webs help capture food and can make good cocoons, but spiders webs are lesser...
Source: Wikipedia

What makes us human?

When the entire human genome was sequenced eight years ago, the news came as a shock to many of us, not because of what...
Source: Wikipedia

Did you know...

that dolphins are able to maintain continuous vigilance through echolocation for at least fifteen days Dolphins are highly...

Vulnerability found in BMW cars

BMW cars made since 2006 carry an on-board computer that controls the engine, and makes sure everything is working OK....

Cancer stem cell discovery could lead to new cancer therapies

Scientists have discovered that cancers are fueled by small populations of cancer stem cells. These cells are resistant to...

A Thought for Online Food

A recent study by Dr. Ryan McDevitt, from the University of Rochester, USA, found that when people order food online, they...
Photo: Scott McNulty

Interview with "The Human Barcode" creator

Today, receiving spam from a friend's hacked email account is all too common. Passwords and security questions aren't...
wikipedia

Beetle can walk underwater

Walking under water is no easy feat, especially if you are a tiny insect. Now, a team of researchers led by Professor...
Wikipedia

Neurons to learn from others' errors

Japanse scientists studying the brain of Japanese macaque monkeys have identified a group of neurons responsible for...
Suave

Ancient civilisations meet futuristic map maker

Mapping an archaeological site usually take years to complete, but not anymore Researchers have invented "SUAVe" - an...
Wikipedia

Sick mosquitoes live longer

French researchers led by Dr. Julien Vezilier, report online on August 1st in the journal Proceedings of the Royal...

At Your Fingertips: Interview with Human Barcode Creator Scott McNulty

There is a revolution happening in network security, and the key element is you. Scott McNulty, founder of the New York...

A good father

Would you stay around if your partner cheated? Would you care for someone else's children? A little marine snail says...
Source: Wikipedia

In tough times, mom makes hornier sons

A new study shows that female dung beetles can control the size of their son's horns, a critical morphological feature...

German Bioenergy

Recently, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina reached an important conclusion: "...that in quantitative...
methanogens

Electricity eating bacteria produce methane

Did you know some microbes can actually convert electricity into methane gas? They are called methanogens, and now...
mangrove

Mangroves help curb CO2

A new study, published on July 30 on Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that conserving mangroves...
SuperMUC

Europe's most powerful computer

Europe's most powerful computer, is open for business  A super-computer near Munich is the world's 4th fastest computer,...
Image: Wikipedia

Bears colour blind for survival

A new study shows genomic evidence that polar bears are much older than we thought and have been interbreeding with brown...

Sweet memories

What do we have in common with the common fruit file? If you guessed dopamine reward neurons, you are correct! An...

Enviroment:17 Billions in the trash, every year.

Electric and electronic companies worldwide use more than 17 billion Euros worth of gold and silver every year, but only...

Extinguishing fire with sound

Researchers from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in the USA, report on new ways to extinguish fire....

Sex worth risking your life for?

Flies living among bats have a hard time mating, as it seems bats can use the sound they make while copulating to find...

Did you know... You can taste Calcium!

A new article, published on July 6th in the journal Scientific Reports, found that humans, much like many animals, have...

No such thing as just lunch: meals can trigger jealousy

It's OK to have coffee with an ex, but sharing a meal with an old flame is a good way to make your current romantic...

Did you know...You can taste calcium!

A new article, published on July 6th in the journal Scientific Reports, found that humans, much like many animals, have...

Pure Fluorine discovered

Scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (LMU) report on the...

Two old species mate to form new species

New species take many, many years to form. But now, scientist are reporting on the July 6th issue of the journal Phytokeys,...

500-million year old gene resurrected

Betül Kaçar, from the american university Georgia Tech, has resurrected a 500-million-year-old gene and inserted it into...

Our celestial origins

Life on earth may have benefited from the explosion of massive stars, according to Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark of...

A fast evolving new species of wheat fungus

Farmers and governments alike fear the emergence of new pest species, as they are more likely to develop pesticide...
fetid fluorite

Pure Fluorine discovered

  Scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (LMU) report on...
Just lunch...

No such thing as just lunch: meals can trigger jealousy

It's OK to have coffee with an ex, but sharing a meal with an old flame is a good way to make your current romantic...
Celestial origin

Our celestial origins

Life on earth may have benefited from the explosion of massive stars, according to Danish physicist Dr. Henrik Svensmark...
Dark Matter

DARK-MATTER, detected at last

New research led by Dr. Jörg Dietrich, from Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich, reports online on July 12, in the...
Dietrich

Jörg Dietrich explains: Dark Matter

"Most of the matter in the Universe is made of stuff that is very different from the normal matter that everything in our...
Sciurumimus  under UV light. Photo credits: Helmut Tischlinger

Munich researchers dig out some new dinosaur stories

To begin with, we have a new species of a feathered dinosaur unearthed from Painten, Bavaria. Previous fossils from...
Mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus, caught in the act. Photo credit:  Anni Hämäläinen

When Lemur eats Lemur: rare case of cannibalism found in the wild

A rare case of cannibalism involving two adult mouse lemurs in Kirindy, Western Madagascar, is reported in the May 23...
Gold lenses that Dietrich Habs' s team will use in September for focusing gamma rays

Munich researchers make groundbreaking discovery about gamma rays

Light comes in many forms, some of it is visible some of it is not. And a good example of our ability to use light in...
Male mourning cuttlefish (right) looking sexy for a female (left half) while simultaneously displaying deceptive female coloration (right half) towards a rival male. Photo credits: Culum Brown

Half and half: how cuttlefish cheat their way into successful mating

Professor Culum Brown and collaborators, from Macquarie University, in Sydney, Australia, have discovered an uncanny...
Research was conducted at the University of Heidelberg

Aging affects memory and other cognitive abilities, and it is all linked to a single protein

Aging may bring along some wisdom but it can also bring  less desirable consequences. Prof. Hilmar Bading and colleagues,...
Sleep

While you were sleeping

Improving your memory, learning that new tune you just heard or coming up with a new idea. These are just some of the...

Sponges shed new light on muscle evolution

New research show that sponges, which lack muscle cells, have some proteins found in muscle cells. The finding moves back...
MoLab Basic Configuration. Credit: MoLab-AG, GEOMAR

Researching Earth's vast unknown underwater worlds

Jules Verne may have dreamt about this day, when technology would finally reveal the secrets of the ocean depths....
An image of the Pleiades (M45), a famous star cluster about 135 million years old. This age means that any massive stars in the cluster would have exploded as supernovae when ammonites were prominent in the sea. According to Henrik Svensmark, the rate of nearby supernovae strongly influenced the diversity of such marine invertebrates. Credit: NASA, ESA and AURA/Caltech

Our celestial Origins

Life on earth may have benefited from the explosion of massive stars, according to Danish physicist Dr. Henrik Svensmark...
Largest and smallest flowers in bloom

World's largest and smelliest flower, open for business

On June 13, the Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum), bloomed, bringing joy and a powerful stench of rotting flesh to...
Source: Fujitsu Ltd.

Tech News: Vein-based biometric technology, and Pop-up buttons on your iPhone

Here are two recent technological advancements that caught my attention. First, Fujitsu has developed the world's smallest...
Photo: Matt Staley

Super Microscope can track every cell of a growing embryo

Two teams of researchers led by Philipp Keller, from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in Maryland, USA and Lars...
Newton's problem has stumped mathematicians for nearly 350 years

16-year old German finds solution for 350 year old math problem

Shouryya Ray, a 16-year-old German student from Dresden, has solved a 350 year old puzzle originally proposed by Sir Isaac...

German researchers use google-based search approach for cancer treatment

As many of us, you are likely an avid google user, and know your way around the web. Perhaps you are even an expert web...

Munich leading the way for the electric car of the future

Electric vehicles, with a very low-level of noise, represent for many the ideal of personal mobility, with the added bonus...
Chimpanzees have recently demonstrated again how similar they are to humans

Celebrate Earth's day with this heart-warming tale

To celebrate Earth's day 2012, DisneyNature has released a new nature film, this time about Chimpanzees, and about a very...
French Fries

Researchers identify the dietary patterns of German teens

Are your kids eating healthy? Probably not, new study reports A new study analyzing the eating patterns of German...
Moon, Venus and Jupiter in near alignment

Jupiter, Venus and the moon are meeting up, you can join too

TMT brings you closer to the sky this coming Tuesday, with a live broadcast of the junction of 3 heavenly bodies: a...