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:
Machine-learning boosts the conservation of endangered plant species
To improve the protection of species, we developed a machine-learning method that lets us successfully identify plant species that are likely at risk. This method is a very helpful complement to other more expensive and time-consuming approaches and can be used at both local and global scales.Apr 29, 2019 | 4 min read
Growing human retinal organoids to understand development of the human eye
The cone photoreceptors of the human eye detect blue, red, or green light. How these cells develop in humans is poorly understood. To address this question, we differentiated human stem cells into mini-retinas, called “organoids”. Our findings clarify the human eye development and provide a potential therapeutic strategy for vision disorders including macular degeneration.Apr 26, 2019 | 3.5 min read
The Pacific is drowning in plastic
The world is facing a plastic pollution crisis. Plastic has reached the most remote areas of our lands, seas, and oceans. The scientists from The Ocean Cleanup thoroughly characterize one of the major pollution zones in the Pacific Ocean.Apr 15, 2019 | 3.5 min read
Rare rains bring death to microbes of the Mars-Like Atacama Desert
The Atacama Desert in Northern Chile is the driest and oldest desert on Earth. For this reason, it has been investigated as Mars analog model. We found that, unexpectedly, the increase of rainy days that happened since 2015 has killed most of the highly adapted microorganisms of this extremely dry and amazing desert.Apr 12, 2019 | 4 min read
Can robots teach us about animal flight?
Animal flight has fascinated people since eternity. Birds, bats, and insects all perform breath-taking aerobatic maneuvers when perching on a wind-swayed tree branch, following a swarm or escaping a predator. Yet, scientists remain puzzled about how the animals control these maneuvers and what sensory systems they use.Apr 10, 2019 | 3.5 min read
Our own choices generate biases for subsequent decisions
Humans like to think of their judgments as ‘rational’, solely based on objective information. Instead, we have found that people interpret decision-relevant information in a way that is distorted by their previous judgments. This mechanism can account for many important real-life biases, and it may be a natural consequence of the architecture of the brain.Apr 8, 2019 | 4 min read