Massimo, molecular biologist, is constantly on a mission to inspire scientists and laypeople around him with his passion for science. During the time spent on the bench, he followed his natural all-around curiosity, investigating several topics from medical diseases to plant physiology. Head of TheScienceBreaker, Massimo proudly chases his naïve dream of an engaged society where scientists and citizens are facing together the upcoming challenges for human civilizations. At the University of Geneva, Switzerland, Massimo works for BiOutils – an academic and laboratory-based platform for outreach in life sciences.
Massimo is the editor of 127 Breaks:
Methane ice dunes on Pluto
Spotting features that looked like dunes on Pluto's surface proved the easy part of the research. Showing that the ridges only made sense if they had been blown by the wind was harder. But it was explaining how dunes could form on a world with almost no atmosphere that took time and a diverse range of expertise. We describe a world at once both familiar and very alien to our own.Mar 18, 2019 | 4 min read
A bacterium with the power of changing the course of Human history
Around 5,000 years ago, different Neolithic populations in Europe started to reduce in size and even disappear. The reasons for this decay are still largely discussed, but the process is known as the Neolithic Decline. We found pieces of evidence suggesting that infectious diseases, and precisely plague, may have played a role in this process.Mar 15, 2019 | 3.5 min read
Should Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder Be Considered an Impulse Control Disorder?
With an estimated 3 to 6 percent of the population possibly having compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD), it is now being researched like never before. This is leading to the question whether it should be considered an impulse control disorder, or something else?Mar 13, 2019 | 4.5 min read
Emergent division of labor among clonal ants
Division of labor is thought to be central to the success of social species like ants and humans, but how does it arise? We used automated behavioral tracking in an unusual, clonal ant to show that division of labor can emerge in response to increasing group size. These behavioral changes were accompanied by rapid increases in colony performance.Mar 11, 2019 | 4 min read
Biodiversity – a double-edged sword for ecological stability?
Whether biodiversity increases or decreases ecosystem stability has intrigued ecologists for decades, without a final answer yet. Our research shows that both can be true and we present an approach called overall ecosystem stability to resolve this apparent paradox.Mar 8, 2019 | 4 min read
Gene therapy and ALS: one step closer to the clinic
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a devastating, invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Now researchers demonstrate that a novel gene therapy treatment that silences the toxic gene is safe in monkeys. This breakthrough treatment could soon be in the clinic.Mar 6, 2019 | 4 min read