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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. 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 269 Breaks:

What can science tell us about mortality and survival in Game of Thrones?

Fatal injuries caused by assault and operations of war are commonplace in the lands of Westeros and Essos. Switching allegiances is a key factor in increasing the chances of survival.

Jul 1, 2019 | 3.5 min read
Lighting a candle in the dark

Cyanobacteria have always lived on solar power… yet we found them living in the Earth’s crust, 600 meters below the surface. Our results suggest that they have repurposed their metabolic machinery to burn hydrogen for energy.

Jun 24, 2019 | 4 min read
Improving the dietary value of tomatoes with purple plant pigments

Obtaining the right daily amount of fresh food is a challenge in many countries. This study improved the dietary value of tomato, by enhancing the content of a beneficial plant pigment, called anthocyanin. Tomatoes enriched in anthocyanins had purple-coloured fruit, and improved the lifespan of mice. Increasing the nutritional value of tomato is promising for improved public health.

Jun 17, 2019 | 3 min read
Screen time and developmental delays in children: a chicken or egg problem

Does screen time precede developmental delays, or do children showing delays in development receive more screen time to manage challenging behaviors? We have addressed this “chicken or egg” question, suggesting that screen time precedes delays in children meeting their developmental milestones.

May 27, 2019 | 3.5 min read
Mussel powder engineered to kill pathogens

We re-engineered the adhesive used by mussels to stick to surfaces like ship hull, rocks, and piers to create a powder that can kill pathogens. When hydrated, the powder generates a common disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide, and effectively kills two types of bacteria and two types of viruses.

May 24, 2019 | 3 min read
Early humans inhabited North Africa earlier than thought

Humans dispersal into northern Africa is thought to be happened later than 2.6 million years ago. However, we discovered two archaeological deposits estimated to 2.4 and 1.9 million years ago at the site of Ain Boucherit, Algeria. The evidence argues either for a rapid dispersal of stone tool manufacture from East Africa or for possible multiple origins of stone tool manufacture.

May 22, 2019 | 3.5 min read