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Dr. Akira Ohkubo

Associate 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 63 Breaks:

How accurate is our memory?

Our memories often feel like records of the past. But the dominant view among scientists is that our personal memories are highly prone to error and not to be trusted. How accurate is memory, really? No need to be pessimistic – our study suggests that memory, while not a perfect record, is much more accurate than scientists think.

Aug 25, 2021 | 4 min read
Age matters: how aging affects cancer

Even though aging is the main risk factor for cancer, the age of a patient is still not generally accounted for in cancer research and clinical trials. We found that an aging-induced substance in the blood promotes cancer aggressiveness, revealing that age is an important factor to consider when developing personalized anti-cancer therapies.

Aug 19, 2021 | 3 min read
Can placebos make you feel better?

A placebo – popularly thought of as a fake treatment – is increasingly accepted as a potential treatment to reduce distress. However, the stereotype belief that deception is necessary to get them to work prevents their widespread use. Here we provide evidence that placebos can still reduce emotional distress even when a person knows they are taking a placebo.

Aug 17, 2021 | 3 min read
Damping bad memories to live without concerns

People usually want to be moral, but they sometimes break taboos for earnings. In such a moral dilemma, selective forgetting of bad memories helps us maintain a good self-image. But what causes this memory selection? Our study highlights that individuals mainly forget bad deeds to clean their minds and avoid making upcoming immoral decisions.

Aug 12, 2021 | 4 min read
College roommates influence each other’s political ideology

Many today are concerned that universities “indoctrinate” students to have certain ideological beliefs. Despite this major claim, we find no evidence of broad ideological change in college students over their freshman year. Our data further reveal that such changes are driven by their roommates, with roommates moving toward each other’s political views.

Aug 5, 2021 | 2.5 min read
Gut microbes govern cancer

Cancer rarely develops in the small intestine compared to in the large intestine, but its reason remains mysterious. A new study reveals that certain microbes predominantly inhabiting the colon promote cancerous tumor development via a unique metabolite, which may explain the rarity of small intestinal tumors.

Jul 29, 2021 | 3.5 min read