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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 low protein diets promote healthy aging

Low protein diets help us improve health and reduce the risk of death. But, how these diets are beneficial in metabolism remains mysterious. Our study suggests that specific amino acids – the building blocks which make up dietary protein – are responsible for their effects. Surprisingly, we found that only male mice – not female mice – fed diets restricting those amino acids lived longer.

Jun 8, 2021 | 3.5 min read
How a protein modification navigates sperm to the egg

For fertilisation, millions of sperm cells race toward the egg by rhythmically wagging their tail. How they head to the goal straight is unknown. A new study reveals that a chemical modification on proteins controls the sperm tail’s behaviour, and in its absence, amazingly, sperm turns to swim circularly, rather than to swim straight toward the egg, causing defects in male fertility.

Jun 4, 2021 | 3.5 min read
New treatment options for Zika virus infection

Despite the devastation caused by the 2015–2016 Zika virus outbreak, there are no approved treatments or vaccines. We screened over 100,000 compounds that were designed to treat other diseases, and identified three classes of compounds with anti-Zika activity. The identification of these promising drug candidates will help to prepare us for the next possible Zika virus outbreak.

Jun 2, 2021 | 3.5 min read
Networking between marine protected areas help sustain fisheries

Marine protected areas called no-take zones – restricting human activities – are set to preserve marine ecosystems. But these same marine reserves could also help sustain fisheries. A new study reveals that a network of no-take zones provides a reliable source of offspring, which replenishes fish stocks and minimizes risk to ecosystems.

May 31, 2021 | 3.5 min read
How rain sculpts mountains

Climate, as characterized by rainfall, has a profound influence on rivers in mountain ranges. While it may seem obvious how heavy rain causes flooding and river incision, scientists have struggled to model how rainfall and erosion are related. We show a new model that accurately predicts the relationship in the Himalaya, which helps us better understand the evolution of mountainous landscapes.

May 27, 2021 | 4.5 min read
What the Earth’s ‘voice’ tells us about its underground architecture

To explore inside the Earth, scientists measure the speed of sound in underground rocks – or the ‘voice’ of our planet – created by plates’ movements. Sometimes, they detect mysteriously fast sound waves. A new study reveals that these fast sound waves are produced by a unique underground architecture that drives a volcanic eruption, called a mantle plume.

May 25, 2021 | 4 min read