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Dr. Carlos Javier Rivera-Rivera

About Carlos Javier

Carlos has been in love with Nature ever since he can remember. He spent many days camping, snorkeling and otherwise exploring the tropical forests and seas of his native Puerto Rico. Adding passion to his love affair, he is now studying molecular phylogenetics, trying to uncover the intricate evolutionary processes that have shaped our DNA sequences. Knowing that communication is essential for any good romance, Carlos believes that the best way to communicate his love for Nature is by making the amazing world of research accessible to all.

Carlos Javier is the editor of 31 Breaks:

High performance silks deployed by web building wolf spiders

Wolf spiders that build webs produce silks that perform differently than those that do not build webs, supporting hypotheses that web building and silk performance co-evolved in spiders.

Nov 12, 2018 | 4 min read
New and Improved! A supercharged antibiotic to fight superbugs

New antibiotics are needed to treat infections caused by bacteria that can no longer be killed by current drugs. We have improved an existing antibiotic by chemically adding on extra pieces that make it bind more strongly to bacteria.

Nov 9, 2018 | 4.5 min read
Modern stressors of gut microbes

We previously demonstrated that commonly used food additives can modify the community of micro-organisms that live in our intestine, and by doing so, boost the development of intestinal inflammation and colon cancer.

Nov 5, 2018 | 3 min read
Are burrowing snakes digging their own evolutionary grave?

Does specializing on particular resources restrict an organism’s ability to adapt to changing environments and increase its chances of extinction? Species adapted to living underground (fossoriality) tend to be highly specialized to their fossorial environment at multiple levels, and such specialization could potentially limit their ability to adapt to new or changing environments.

Oct 26, 2018 | 3.5 min read
Could our gut’s microbes be the guardians of our brain’s health?

Microorganisms inhabiting our gut degrade certain nutrients into molecules capable of activating brain-resident immune cells to control inflammation. This could possibly limit the progression of some neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Oct 10, 2018 | 3.5 min read
The snake with the skin of a rhino…that eats babies!

A rare African snake was recently found to have skin that is thicker and harder to pierce than “typical” snake skin. This tough skin may be a defense against the bites of parental rodents, since the snake feeds mainly on rodent babies.

Sep 21, 2018 | 3.5 min read