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Isa Ozdemir

Senior Scientific Editor

Isa is the editor of 19 Breaks:

Non-cuttable material inspired by seashells

We created the first non-cuttable material by mimicking the unique shell structures of the abalone sea creature. The material dynamically interacts with cutting tools turning their own energy back against them. Such hierarchical material systems, akin to natural organisms, but made of metal, ceramics and high-performance fibers, could provide a rich array of material technologies for the future.

Jul 21, 2021 | 3.5 min read
From days to hours: detecting SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies

After SARS-CoV-2 infection, our body produces antibodies that can defend us against the virus upon infection. However, not all antibodies act similarly - some antibodies can stop virus infection, while others cannot. To quickly differentiate these antibodies, we devised a simple test that can easily determine the presence of neutralizing antibodies within hours.

Jun 14, 2021 | 4 min read
Crop yield responses to conservation agriculture in Africa

Authorities have promoted conservation agriculture as a panacea for sustainable intensification of food production in Africa. Yet, claims that it increases crop yields on African farms remain controversial. Although conservation agriculture helps to control soil degradation, it is not a technology for African smallholder farmers to overcome low crop productivity and insecurity in the short term.

Mar 24, 2021 | 3.5 min read
Win-waste: an alarming strategy

Currently available models underestimate global food waste. We developed a new method to estimate how much food is wasted at a country level. Comparison with estimates based on US consumer surveys shows that the approach can reasonably reproduce the results with much less data.

Mar 9, 2021 | 3.5 min read
More than meets the eye: the histones revealed as enzymes

Histones have been known as proteins that package the DNA of eukaryotes and regulate gene expression. We discovered that histones also function as enzymes that convert copper ions into a usable form for cells. The enzymatic function changes how we think about the roles of histones in health and disease. It may have also been a critical driver for emergence of eukaryotes in the first place.

Jan 12, 2021 | 3 min read
Cooled to the Quantum Realm

One of the biggest questions of our time is how gravity and quantum mechanics interact. We have achieved a long-sought-after step towards this goal by laser cooling a solid object.

Nov 6, 2020 | 2.5 min read