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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 318 Breaks:

AutonoMouse: A platform for automating mouse behavioral studies

Behavioral assessments in animal models are crucial to neuroscience research, but manual implementation of these methods can limit throughput. We developed AutonoMouse: a platform for performing continuous, automated behavioral experiments across multiple subjects simultaneously.

Sep 30, 2019 | 4 min read
How to survive a viral apocalypse: a rabbit’s tale

In 1950, a novel virus was used as a biological weapon to control the invasive rabbit populations in Australia, killing millions of animals on the first impact. But then, evolution kicked in and rabbits evolved genetic resistance to the disease. This is the story of how it all happened.

Sep 27, 2019 | 4 min read
Reinventing a bacterial biopesticide: an old microbe with a fresh new look

Growing concerns over the use of synthetic pesticides in agriculture have sparked a renewed interest in natural alternatives. Our work revisits a formerly successful bacterial biological pesticide (biopesticide) that fell out of fashion over concerns of human pathogenicity.

Sep 24, 2019 | 3.5 min read
Cascading effects of a marine heatwave impact dolphin survival and reproduction

Extreme climatic events associated with climate change pose a serious threat to ecosystems around the world. A marine heatwave in 2011 causes drastic losses of seagrass and fish stocks in Shark Bay, Western Australia, with cascading effects on long-term survival and reproduction of the resident bottlenose dolphin population.

Sep 20, 2019 | 4 min read
Unexpectedly stalled: the dynamics of brain blood flow in Alzheimer’s disease

A reduction in brain blood flow is a long-known symptom of Alzheimer’s disease that has remained unexplained. Using mouse models of Alzheimer’s, we discovered the cellular mechanism that causes this brain blood flow reduction and further showed that increasing brain blood flow improves memory function.

Sep 19, 2019 | 3.5 min read
When gut bacteria spoil drug treatment

In many cases, doctors do not know why one patient responds well to a drug, while another experiences significant side effects for the same drug. We found that bacteria living in the gut can be partially responsible for such differences: they can break down certain drugs to small molecules that cause serious complications during drug therapy.

Sep 18, 2019 | 3.5 min read