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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:

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
Forced to react: 3D printing can stretch a single cell

A cell is highly interactive and constantly exchanges ‘physical’ information with its surroundings. By combining a special 3D printing technique with smart materials, we developed micrometer-sized scaffolds to stretch single cells. This new approach helps us to better understand how individual cells sense and respond to external mechanical stimuli.

Apr 16, 2021 | 3.5 min read
Let’s live together: sharing with others may help us live longer

Receiving help from others is an essential aspect of our life. In childhood but also in old age, we need our families, related kin or broader society to help meet our needs. Our research reveals that we can expect to live longer in societies where people share resources more generously.

Apr 14, 2021 | 3 min read
Microbial life on our tongue

Our tongue is inhabited by billions of microbes. But are they beneficial for us? A new imaging technique reveals that these microbes build organized communities with a patchy mosaic structure, extending our understanding of how microbes live with us and contribute to our health.

Apr 12, 2021 | 4 min read
Leveraging Earth to study how water formed on ancient Mars

Billions of years ago, Mars appears to have had abundant surface water. There is little, if any, direct evidence of the ancient atmosphere that helped make the surface warm enough for that to happen. Studying impact craters on Earth that are similar in structure to those on Mars may hold the key to resolving this ongoing problem.

Apr 7, 2021 | 4 min read