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Massimo Caine

About Massimo

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.

Massimo is the editor of 321 Breaks:

Is prison the answer to preventing violence?

Violence is a serious public health problem. Prison is often the response to preventing violence, but it's unclear how much it achieves this goal. In our study, we use a novel research design to compare people convicted of a violent crime, sentenced to either prison or probation. Our results show that prison is an ineffective long-term solution to violence prevention.

Dec 19, 2019 | 3.5 min read
The busy life of urban bees: a conservation opportunity

Pollinating insects such as bees and hoverflies provide a vital service for many wild flowers and crops. However, there are growing concerns about their declines. Here I discuss findings from a study in four UK cities that shows which parts of cities are better for pollinators and how urban management can be changed to improve cities.

Dec 17, 2019 | 3.5 min read
The social life of a fish shoal in ancient times

Groups of living animals show beautiful patterns of collective behaviors. This must also be true for extinct organisms. We analyzed the fossilized fish group to infer behavioral rules for coordinated collective motions of extinct animals.

Dec 16, 2019 | 3.5 min read
Ancient human DNA from a 10000 years old "chewing gum"

We identified a new type of source of ancient human genetic data. Our group extracted DNA from Mesolithic masticated lumps, made from distilled birch bark pitch. The people in the Stone Age presumably chewed this material leaving behind ancient human DNA.

Dec 3, 2019 | 3 min read
Gone but not forgotten – plant extinction in modern times

New review of plant extinction in modern times shows clearly elevated rates globally. Highest rates are for shrubs and trees and in biodiverse areas with many unique species, such as oceanic islands – areas particularly vulnerable to human activities.

Nov 29, 2019 | 4 min read
High in the Pamir Mountains: Ancient Cannabis Smoking in Western China

This study traces some of the earliest evidence for cannabis smoking back to ancient burials in the high mountains of the Pamirs in far western China. People were burning the plant about 2500 years ago as part of a mortuary ritual. The chemical analysis suggests that these people were aware of and targeting plants with a higher THC level than would be expected from the wild.

Nov 27, 2019 | 4 min read