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Dr. Carlos Javier Rivera-Rivera

About Carlos Javier

Carlos has been in love with Nature ever since he can remember. He spent many days camping, snorkeling and otherwise exploring the tropical forests and seas of his native Puerto Rico. Adding passion to his love affair, he is now studying molecular phylogenetics, trying to uncover the intricate evolutionary processes that have shaped our DNA sequences. Knowing that communication is essential for any good romance, Carlos believes that the best way to communicate his love for Nature is by making the amazing world of research accessible to all.

Carlos Javier is the editor of 38 Breaks:

Gene edited “superpigs” resist devastating disease

Genome editors are simple tools that allow scientists to make very precise changes to the genome of any organism. Here we present the use of these "gene scissors" to make pigs resistant to a devastating viral disease by removing a small portion of their genome and disrupting the key-lock interaction of the virus with its host.

Feb 13, 2019 | 4.5 min read
Steady decline of coral reefs in the Anthropocene

Coral reefs are in a steady decline worldwide due to a range of anthropogenic (man-made) stressors. For this study, we focused on the effect of the two main drivers of change on the reefs: ocean warming and increasing storm intensity. Both of these stressors result in changes in the composition of coral communities, and a decrease in coral cover.

Jan 28, 2019 | 4 min read
Creating the world’s fastest rotating object

The blades in the turbine of a fighter jet aircraft can spin nearly one thousand times each second, but spinning any faster makes them explode. What is the highest rotation rate at which a mechanical object can revolve?

Jan 21, 2019 | 4 min read
Finding Dracula’s silver bullet: the fight against a bloodthirsty fungus

That’s correct, the darkness loving, light fearing, blood sucking prince of darkness, Count Dracula was a fungus. In our recent research, we describe that just like Dracula, the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus “wants your blood”.

Jan 16, 2019 | 3.5 min read
Keeping CRISPR under control: how bacteria fight viruses without harming themselves

Bacteria are in a constant struggle with the viruses that infect them. While we often think of bacteria as agents of infection, bacteria are in turn infected by viruses, called phage. The phage that infect bacteria and archaea are the most abundant class of organism on earth, with an estimated 10 phage for every bacterial cell.

Jan 14, 2019 | 4 min read
A new way to go gray

Anecdotally, there are lots of ways to go gray, but one that’s really true has to do with how pigment cells in the hair deal with viral infection. In response to a virus, some of us may be better than others at keeping our colorful locks.

Nov 23, 2018 | 3.5 min read