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Popular science

Online articles discussing my work

New innovations in carbohydrate standards for life science research. KTH Innovation. Together, Amparo Jiménez Quero and Lauren McKee are founding the company MycOligo with the aim to make the purchase of highly characterised and pure fungal carbohydrate standards more accessible for the scientific and biomedical communities.

Sju KTH-projekt på prestigefylld lista. Peter Ardell. Ett av forskningsprojektet går ut på att utveckla hållbart gummi baserad på bark från björk.

Nytt protein kan förändra kosmetika- och läkemedelsindustrin. Elin Viksten. Article for Extrakt. De är ideala för bland annat återfuktning och sårförband. Hydrogeler har eftertraktade egenskaper för såväl skönhets- som läkemedelsindustrin. Men tillverkningen kräver skadliga kemikalier. Nu kan kemiforskaren Lauren McKee ha hittat proteinet som helt kan förändra produktionen – i tallskogen.

My 'popular science' writing

WWSC research recognised on the IVA top 100 list for 2021. McKee LS, Baumgarten T. News update for the WWSC website. The bark of birch trees is a substantial waste stream from the forestry industry. Can we directly use a suberin extract from birch bark to produce a sustainable bio-based rubber alternative? The IVA has just highlighted such a project on their Top 100 list for 2021! Published May 2021.

It’s time to track city sewage for emerging diseases, not just COVID-19. McKee LS. Article for Massive Science.The current pandemic accelerated the wastewater epidemiology techniques, but researchers hope to continue the practice to prevent the next one. Published December 2020.

Scientists are trying to develop sustainable biomaterials from wood. McKee LS. Lab Note for Massive Science. Hemicelluloses are already used in food packaging, hydrogels, and more. Published November 2020.

A scholarly approach to teaching in higher education. McKee LS. Blog post, November 2020.

Effective supervision and training of research students in the life sciences. McKee LS. Blog post, November 2020.

Integrating ‘Sustainable Development’ into higher education teaching in the life sciences. McKee LS. Blog post, November 2020.

A promotion of sorts. McKee LS. Blog post, November 2020.

Beyond the tenure track: there is more than one way to succeed. McKee LS. Article for ecrLife. Have you considered a non-tenured position in academia? Come discover how much potential this non-traditional career path holds, and what are the advantages that it offers to nowadays scientists. Published October 2020.

This much I have learned – How to ask for funding for your research. McKee LS. Blog post, October 2020.

Antibiotics in fish farming create resistance and are an animal welfare disaster. It’s time for a change. McKee LS. Op-ed for Massive Science. Aquaculture, like agriculture, has an antibiotic problem. Published July 2020. Syndicated in Salon, July 2020, as Seafood's antibiotic crisis: Fish farming is creating an animal welfare disaster. Syndicated in The Wire, May 2021, Aquaculture Has an Antibiotics Problem.

Bone proteins can help identify how long a body has been submerged in water. McKee LS. Lab Note for Massive Science. This finding will help forensic teams better determine time of death in these cases. Published June 2020.

Squid skin is naturally anti-microbial. McKee LS. Lab Note for Massive Science. This new finding makes squid skin a potentially valuable medical product, and could reduce waste from commercial fisheries. Published June 2020.

The upside-down jellyfish stings you with mucus grenades. McKee LS. Lab Note for Massive Science. Scientists call these “Cassiomes”... but that doesn’t make them any less painful. Published June 2020.

Genome analysis of Lactobacillus bacteria finds that they make up 25 distinct groups. McKee LS. Lab Note for Massive Science. These bacteria are important for gut health as well as in foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt. Published May 2020.

We can measure coronavirus’s spread by looking at people’s poop. McKee LS. Lab Note for Massive Science. Municipal wastewater treatments plants are actually ideal testing locations. Published May 2020.

Women in Microbiology. McKee LS. Blog post, April 2020.

The bee microbiome can fight back against fungi that cause Colony Collapse Disorder. McKee LS. Article for Massive Science. Biocontrol may help bees where other interventions, like chemical pesticides, have failed. Published March 2020. Syndicated in ASBMB, March 2020, as The bee microbiome can fight back against fungi that cause Colony Collapse Disorder. Syndicated in Bee Culture Magazine (print), June 2020.

Unlike bacteria, diatoms are picky about microplastics. McKee LS. Lab Note for Massive Science. Different types of plastic waste appear to attract the same types of bacteria, but not the same types of diatoms. Published January 2020.

Cats communicate with the help of bacteria living in their butts. McKee LS. Article for Massive Science. KittyBiome researchers want to study the cat microbiome to improve health and understand scent-based communication. Published December 2019. Syndicated in Inverse, December 2019, as Scientists want to save sick cats from death using feline butt bacteria. What if we could take better care of our furry friends?

A Fair ShareMcKee LS. Opinion piece for the Last Retort pages of Chemistry World, periodical for the Royal Society of Chemistry. How the Swedish principle of collective responsibility keeps science running smoothly. Published November 2019.

Meet Maria Sibylla Merian, the naturalist who painted insects in living colorMcKee LS. Article for Massive Science, in their Science Heroes series. One of the first to recognize insect metamorphosis, she’s finally getting her dues after 300 years of obscurity. Published November 2019.

Start-up releases the world’s first GMO probioticMcKee LS. Lab Note for Massive Science. The company claims the probiotic supplement can cure hangovers, but evidence in humans is lacking. Published September 2019.

New publication! An enzymatic method to produce nanocellulose from softwood chips. McKee LS. Blog post, September 2019.

The placental microbiome may not exist, but the scientific method is realMcKee LS. Lab Note for Massive Science.  Researchers from Cambridge have found that run-of-the-mill sample contamination likely led to the discovery of a placental microbiome. Published August 2019.

The #BetterPoster debate rages – should you redesign your presentations? McKee LS. Lab Note for Massive Science.  Biologist Lauren McKee chooses to reserve judgement – for now. Published July 2019.

Bacteria from our guts have the tools to solve blood bank shortagesMcKee LS. Article for Massive Science. The discovery of a new enzyme system that can convert type A blood into type O blood could ease strain on universal donors and transform healthcare. Published July 2019. Syndicated in Salon, July 2019, as New study finds that bacteria from our guts have the tools to solve blood bank shortages. The discovery of a new enzyme system could ease strain on universal donors and transform healthcare.

Reducing agricultural carbon emissions will be good for the planet and our stomachsMcKee LS. Article for Massive Science. From soil microbes to factory farming, the Green New Deal could radically improve our food system. Published April 2019. Syndicated in Salon, April 2019, as Reducing agricultural carbon emissions will be good for the planet and our stomachs. From soil microbes to factory farming, the Green New Deal could radically improve our food system.

Rachel Carson foresaw using bacteria to protect crops from fungusMcKee LS. Lab Note for Massive Science. Published April 2019.

Paving the way for interstellar holidaysMcKee LS, Hartfield M. Article for Edinburgh University Science (EUSci) magazine focus issue: Legends of the Void. Published online January 2011.


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