Cover Mein Corona TagebuchOtto Brändli hat seit Februar 2020 ein Corona-Tagebuch geschrieben und jetzt liegt es in gedruckter Form vor: seine Gedanken über Bücher, Politik und Philosophie und natürlich auch über seine Überlegungen zu Covid.
In der Internet Buchhandlung seiner Frau Therese, auf kann es zum Preis von Fr. 30.00 plus Porto This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. werden.

Otto Brändli has published his Corona-diary since February 2020. It shows not only his thoughts about the Covid- pandemic but as well his ideas about books, politics and philosophy.
It can be ordered from the internet-bookstore of his wife Therese on Just click on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get it for Fr. 30.00 plus postage.



Every year, the Swiss Foundation for Tuberculosis Research awards the Swiss TB Award for outstanding work by Swiss researchers.
The two winners this year are Nina T. Odermatt from the EPFL Lausanne and Tobias Broger from the Swiss non-profit organisation FIND.

Press release: pdfAlly-Science_2019_PRESS_RELEASE_20190430.pdf123.46 kB

Real-time data on pollen exposure is available for the first time in Switzerland. This is gathered on the Ally Science app, which has already found widespread use among allergy sufferers. 


The already commonly used Ally Science app provides those who suffer from allergies with not only information on pollen exposure, but also now a symptom development report and a more precise symptom survey. As another recent addition, users can also now view the pollen concentration in Biel and Lucerne in real time. Other regions are due to be added.


The Ally Science app was launched in April 2018 by the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) and University Hospital Zurich (USZ) to serve as the core component in Switzerland’s largest ever study into pollen. The app now features brand new functions. The most significant addition has been made possible by the Poleno – a measuring device from Lucerne-based start-up Swisens. It detects the current concentration of pollen in the air of the local surroundings, focusing specifically on the types of pollen most relevant to allergy sufferers. This represents a major breakthrough: The measuring method that had been used until now is based around identifying and counting pollen manually. 

Consequently, it takes a couple of days before the measurement results are available. 

The Ally Science app shows how much pollen and which types of pollen are currently in the air – initially for the cities of Biel and Lucerne, where a Poleno unit has been installed. Based on the tests so far, Swisens CEO Erny Niederberger is confident "that the devices will deliver high-quality real-time data." The data can be viewed on the app in the form of a map. It also shows the regions in which app users are currently registering symptoms, which can be done quickly and easily by swiping into the app's allergy diary. To allow for a more detailed analysis of symptoms, users are now asked to specify whether their allergy symptoms were experienced indoors or outdoors. Allergy sufferers can use the map to decide whether or not they wish to take preventative measures. 

Another useful new feature of the app is a symptom development report for users, which can be exported as a PDF if required for a medical appointment. There is also a development display so users can track their symptoms across the entire year. Users who had been entering data into the app in 2018 will see a second curve indicating last year's pattern. This is hugely valuable for a potential medical consultation, particularly with reference to recommending treatment. Further to this, a link takes users straight to tips for pollen allergy sufferers found on the app from the aha! Swiss Allergy Centre.

Plans for 2020 include offering real-time pollen data for more regions, as well as a personalised pollen early warning indicator. Another reason to start using the Ally

Science app now. After all, the more allergy sufferers record their symptoms regularly, "the more detailed findings can be fed into the early warning system," explains Professor Serge Bignens, Head of the BFH Institute for Medical Informatics.

Ally Science – Pollen study conducted with and in the interest of allergy sufferers The Swiss Ally Science study project is reliant on the involvement of people with allergies. They can record their symptoms using the Ally Science app, which is available in five languages. The data is stored on the secure, user-specific MIDATA platform and incorporated into the pollen study in anonymised form. Around 8000 people contributed more than 24,000 symptom entries during the 2018 pollen season, including information on the frequency of individual symptoms. In the second phase of the project, which is now under way, the inclusion of real-time pollen data facilitates the analysis of links between symptoms recorded and the pollen actually present. The aim of the study is to develop pollen early warning systems and to improve advice and treatment.

For more information and photographs or to download the Ally Science app, visit:

Contacts for questions and interviews: 

Ally Science app and MIDATA platform: Professor Serge Bignens, Institute for Medical Informatics I4MI, Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH, Biel, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , T +41 (0) 32 321 67 01 

Allergy study: Professor Peter Schmid-Grendelmeier, Allergy Station, Dermatology Clinic, Zurich University Hospital, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , T +41 (0) 44 255 86 20 

Real-time pollen measurement: Erny Niederberger, Swisens AG, Lucerne, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , T +41 (0) 79 761 97 34  

Ally Science is made possible by the support of the following project partners:


Medienmitteilung: pdfSwiss-TB-Award-2018.pdf87.13 kB29/03/2019, 12:43

Die Schweizerische Stiftung für Tuberkuloseforschung vergibt seit 2002 jedes Jahr den mit CHF 10'000 dotierten Swiss TB Award für herausragende Arbeiten von Schweizer Forschenden. Die diesjährigen Preisträgerinnen sind Frau Kathrin Zürcher und Frau Marie Ballif vom ISPM in Bern mit ihrer soeben in der Zeitschrift Lancet publizierten wichtigen Arbeit über die Bedeutung einer korrektiven Testung der Tuberkuloseerreger auf Medikamentenresistenz auf die Behandlungsergebnisse. Dies hat insbesondere bei mehrfachresistenten (MDR) oder gänzlich resistenten (XDR) Tuberkulosekranken einen entscheidenden Einfluss auf ihr Überleben.

The study, which was published just on the World TB Day 2019 in Lancet Infect Dis, resulted from a large collaborative project between the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) of the University of Bern, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel and the Institute of Medical Microbiology (Swiss National Center for Mycobacteria) in Zurich.
This project was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the US National Institutes of Health. The overarching aim was to compile a Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain collection from HIV co-infected and HIV negative individuals in eight low- and middle-income countries worldwide, and to study the mechanisms underlying M. tuberculosis drug resistance. We reported on the challenges to diagnose and treat drug-resistant TB in resource-limited settings. Inaccurate drug susceptibility tests (DST) leading to inappropriate treatment contributes to the high mortality associated with drug-resistant TB. Local access to accurate and rapid DST of anti-TB drugs is required to improve outcomes in patients with drug-resistant TB.

Drug susceptibility testing and mortality in patients treated for tuberculosis in high-burden countries: a multi-centre cohort study
Kathrin Zürcher , Marie Ballif, Lukas Fenner, Sonia Borrell, Peter M. Keller, Joachim Gnokoro, Olivier Marcy, Marcel Yotebieng, Lameck Diero, E. Jane Carter,…...
Sebastien Gagneux, Erik C. Böttger and Matthias Egger, on behalf of the
International Epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS consortium
Lancet Infect Dis 2019; 19:298-307

EATIAbsolventen2017Good news from Addis Ababa: It seems there with our commitment after 6 years to succeed, the training program in the hands of our already trained pulmonary doctors (see the photo with Prof. Schluger top right) to pass. As a result, doctors will continue to receive training in this field not only in Ethiopia but also in other countries in the region. We have published the following article in the renowned journal British Medical Journal:

Creating a specialist physician workforce in low-resource settings: reflections and lessons learnt from the East African Training Initiative. Neil W Schluger, Charles B Sherman, Amsalu Binegdie, Tewedros Gebremariam, Dawit Kebede, Aschalew Worku, E Jane Carter, Otto Brändli (Schluger NW, et al. BMJ Glob Health 2018;3:e001041. doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2018-001041)

Download PDF: pdfSchluger2018BMJ.pdf197.48 kB24/10/2018, 21:33

Im ersten Moment sei er etwas pikiert gewesen, sagt der Schweizer Insektenforscher Charles Lienhard. Doch dann habe ihn sein japanischer Kollege davon überzeugt, dass es eine Ehre sei, mit dem Ig-Nobelpreis ausgezeichnet zu werden. Der Preis gilt als «Anti-Nobelpreis» und wird seit 1991 jedes Jahr in einer humoristischen Veranstaltung verliehen, seit 2001 an der Harvard University. Man kann das englische «ignoble» mit «schmachvoll» übersetzen. Aber als Schmach ist die Auszeichnung nicht gedacht. Sie wird für Erkenntnisse verliehen, «die einen erst zum Lachen und dann zum Nachdenken bringen».

Insgesamt wurden dieses Jahr zehn Preise in den Gebieten Physik, Frieden, Wirtschaft, Anatomie, Biologie, Fluiddynamik, Ernährung, Medizin, Kognition und Geburtshilfe verliehen. Bei zwei Preisen waren Schweizer Forscher massgeblich beteiligt. So erhielten Lienhard und seine Kollegen aus Japan und Brasilien den Biologiepreis. Sie hatten gezeigt, dass brasilianische Höhleninsekten der Gattung Neotrogla bezüglicher ihrer Geschlechtsorgane einzigartig sind: Die Weibchen tragen einen Penis und die Männchen eine Vagina. Die Arbeit warf viele Fragen auf und sorgte auch bei Laien für lange Diskussionen. Zum Beispiel darüber, ob ein Weibchen mit einem Penis ein Männchen sei. Für die Wissenschafter war diese Frage klar zu beantworten. Das Weibchen sei dasjenige, das die grösseren Keimzellen, die Eizellen, trage, sagt Lienhard.


Didgeridoo-Spielen hilft bei obstruktiver Schlafapnoe

vorschau didgeridoteamAuch der Ig-Friedensnobelpreis geht dieses Jahr an Schweizer. Die Forscher unter der Leitung von Otto Brändli von der Höhenklinik Wald zeigten 2005, dass regelmässiges Didgeridoo-Spielen die Beschwerden von Menschen mit obstruktiver Schlafapnoe verbessert. Sie schnarchten weniger und waren tagsüber weniger müde. Beides dürfte das friedliche Zusammenleben in einer Partnerschaft durchaus fördern. Die obstruktive Schlafapnoe entsteht, wenn die Muskulatur in den oberen Atemwegen im Schlaf erschlafft und die Atmung stört. Das führt zu kurzen Atemaussetzern, auf die jeweils ein lauter Schnarcher folgt, wenn der Schlafende nach Luft ringt.

Nachdem ein Didgeridoo-Lehrer und Patient der Ärzte in der Höhenklinik Wald festgestellt hatte, dass seine Beschwerden durch regelmässiges Didgeridoo-Spielen verschwunden waren, untersuchten die Forscher dies systematisch in einer Studie mit vielen Probanden. Tatsächlich stellten sie eine erhebliche Verbesserung der Beschwerden fest, wenn die Probanden sechs Tage pro Woche 25 Minuten lang spielten. Vermutlich stärke das Training die Muskulatur in den Atemwegen, sagt Brändli.

Im Rahmen einer Show hielt jedes geehrte Team am Donnerstag eine kurze Ansprache – teilweise per Videobotschaft – und bekam eine 10-Billionen-Dollar-Note aus Simbabwe überreicht.