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Dr. Akira Ohkubo

In-house Scientific Editor

About Akira

Akira has always been captivated with the art of storytelling. He soon realized that he could merge this interest with his scientific career. For example, how would you explain what DNA is to a 5 year old child? He believes that questions like this can be clearly answered by using metaphors and stories which can be easily understood by everyone. Since science is one of the best ways to uncover the beauty of our world, Akira aims to bring this message across by sharing exciting and elegant scientific stories with TheScienceBreaker.

Akira is the editor of 37 Breaks:

‘Rivers in the sky’ carrying warm air destroy precious Antarctic sea ice

Polar regions – where most global ice sheets are stored – are very sensitive to today’s global warming. As a likely consequence, intense atmospheric rivers – long extensions of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere – have developed, leading to polar land ice melt. New research reveals that atmospheric rivers can also cause sea ice melt by bringing warm air from the tropics to Antarctica.

May 6, 2021 | 3 min read
Raincoats in nature: waterproof armors for insects and plants

Imagine bowling balls are falling at you from the sky – it’s pretty much what small insects experience when it’s raining. How do they survive such a dangerous situation? We discovered how the special waterproof armors insects and plants wear protect them from ‘violent’ raindrops.

Apr 30, 2021 | 3 min read
Sleepiness can disturb our social life

When you feel sleepy, you may prefer going to bed over chatting with friends. Indeed, our study shows that sleepiness is linked to social activity as well as motivation. Reducing sleepiness by taking a nap or drinking coffee may help you to become more socially active, which may, in turn, be beneficial for your sleep habits.

Apr 28, 2021 | 3 min read
Tougher than expected: insulin’s surprising thermostability expands diabetes patients’ hope in tropical countries

People increasingly suffer from diabetes in modern times. Safely delivering insulin, a life-saving drug, is challenging in some tropical, low-income countries because patients cannot afford cold storage at home. Despite this standard guideline, a new study suggests that patients can safely store insulins in hot environments.

Apr 26, 2021 | 3.5 min read
More than money: what do we need to adapt to climate change?

Climate change is threatening our communities across the globe, and adaptation is becoming essential. Many adaptation programs mainly invest in building assets, like savings or infrastructure. We found that a broader set of factors – such as social networks and learning – can play an important part in the actions communities end up taking.

Apr 22, 2021 | 3.5 min read
How the ancient ‘hell ant’ got its bizarre horn

A unique group of extinct ants called “hell ants” were preserved in fossil amber dating to 78-100 million years ago. They had bizarre mouthparts and horns that are not found among nearly any of today’s living insects. A new fossil discovery reveals the predatory role of this strange headgear and illustrates how unique these ants are in evolution.

Apr 20, 2021 | 3 min read