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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:

Rapid increase of nuclear weapons in India and Pakistan may lead to local and global catastrophes

A nuclear war between India and Pakistan could be triggered by the ongoing conflict over Kashmir. The direct effects of this nuclear exchange would be horrible, and 50 to 125 million people could die. Much of the world would suffer crop losses, possibly leading to mass starvation, a global catastrophe. But this problem was created by people and can be solved by them.

Mar 26, 2020 | 4 min read
Beware of humans and glacial maximums – the story of cave bear extinction

We found indications that humans may have had a major impact on the extinction of cave bears in Europe during the last ice age. In our study, we found a drastic decline of cave bear populations starting around 40,000 years ago based on 59 newly reconstructed mitochondrial genomes of cave bears from the Late Pleistocene.

Mar 25, 2020 | 3 min read
English and Welsh hospital patients in the Lyme-light

A description of the socio-demographic characteristics of hospital admissions for Lyme disease. Cases were predominately female, and in children or retirement age adults. They mainly lived in rural affluent areas with a clear hotpot in southern England.

Mar 23, 2020 | 3.5 min read
The bumpy-effect of climate change on transatlantic flights

Using data based on observations, we find the vertical wind shear (the change in wind speed with height) over the North Atlantic Ocean has increased by 15% since 1979 at a typical transatlantic flight cruising altitude. As wind shear is a crucial driver of clear-air turbulence – a major aviation hazard – this result supports findings of increased turbulence in future climate model projections.

Mar 20, 2020 | 4 min read
Infants expect leaders to right wrongs

We associate the quote “With great power comes great responsibility” with super-heroes, such as Spiderman, but in fact, we expect leaders to abide by it too. Must we be taught, or might these expectations be part of our human endowment in how we reason about leadership? It appears infants in the second year of life, already hold these expectations, well before they can be taught.

Mar 18, 2020 | 3.5 min read
Viruses are spilling over from managed honey bees to wild bumble bees

Viruses, once thought specific to managed honey bees, have now been detected in wild bee species, including bumble bees. Our study tested whether virus infection in wild bees was directly related to the presence of managed honey bees. We found that viruses are spilling over from honey bees into wild bumble bees, and this is likely occurring through shared flowers.

Mar 13, 2020 | 4 min read