Ayala’s interest in science started at a young age, with exposure to both popular-science and science-fiction. Her curiosity and enthusiasm for the natural sciences resulted in degrees in both chemical engineering and molecular biology, and a firm belief that the advancement of humanity depends on our ability to share, discuss and understand novel ideas. With great power comes great responsibility, and Ayala believes it is the responsibility of scientists to show the beauty and strength of science to the public. Still looking for the science-fiction novel hidden within her, she looks to science communication as a way to share new concepts, tools and discoveries with curious people from all walks of life.
Ayala is the editor of 67 Breaks:
How people think about risks, politics, and sustainable development
We are living in an unprecedentedly complex and uncertain world, facing difficult problems such as environmental disasters, economic turmoil, political turbulence, and pandemic crises. Despite that, we cannot agree on how to achieve a more sustainable future. To resolve sustainability disputes, from sustainable mobility to development, we need to understand each other’s worldviews and ideals.May 17, 2021 | 4 min read
How to counteract age when the nervous system is damaged
For most neurological disorders, age means more damage and worse clinical outcomes. Using advanced techniques, we determined what it is about the aging central nervous system that makes it more susceptible to damage. We then targeted the source of this damage with a medication never before used in the brain and spinal cord.May 11, 2021 | 4.5 min read
Battling pollution by navigating particle traffic
The movement of particles in solution through the holes and spaces in a material as the liquid flows through is critical to processes such as underground water contamination and delivery of drugs deep inside tissue. By adjusting the pressure at which they are injected into the material we can now control the traffic of these particles in new ways.May 10, 2021 | 4 min read
How our brain temporally organizes our memories of past events
When you and your friends reminisce about your last year of high school, the memories are characterized by your perspective and experience making them unique. How can your brain chronologically place these events? Who are the main players in this process?May 7, 2021 | 3.5 min read
A Nobel Prize technique in the fight against cancer
Scientist are now able to modify the DNA of living organisms, thanks to the development of a new technology called CRISPR/Cas9. Recently, they designed a new strategy to use this fascinating molecular tool against cancer.May 5, 2021 | 3 min read
Cheetah-inspired soft robots: how to make robots run fast?
Soft-bodied robots often crawl as slow as a caterpillar. How can we make soft robots run faster, like a cheetah? One solution is to add a flexible spine.May 4, 2021 | 3.5 min read