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Already in childhood, questioning ‘’WHY?’’ was Monika’s favorite activity. Willing to know the answer and having constant feelings for nature brought her to do a PhD in molecular biology. While doing research, she realized that new discoveries are made every day. However, more important is what these discoveries will lead to and how they will impact our life. To address this, Monika sees a crucial role in communicating and spreading the information among the others, following her belief that a good life is the one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.
Monika is the editor of 7 Breaks:
Why extreme lack of sleep can kill you
Limited sleep causes many health problems, and it can eventually lead to death in some extreme cases. Why is sleep essential for life? We found that sleep deprivation can kill animals through accumulation of toxic molecules in their intestines. Importantly, keeping the intestines healthy by clearing these molecules can prevent the fatal consequences of insufficient sleep.Nov 30, 2020 | 3 min read
Be prepared: How do baby plants protect themselves before escaping the seed?
A continuous protective cuticle formed around the embryo is a prerequisite for plant survival in dry environment. We show that a molecular dialogue between the embryo and the surrounding nutritive tissue in the seed ensures that the cuticle is gap-free, thus maximizing the chances of seedling’s survival after germination.Oct 20, 2020 | 2.5 min read
Are planets with oxygen-rich atmospheres rare?
Oxygen is a life-sustaining element that makes up about twenty percent of the air we breathe. Our research suggests that the stepwise rise of O2 in our atmosphere is easily explainable through simple chemical reactions, suggesting that breathable atmospheres may be relatively commonplace.Aug 11, 2020 | 3 min read
How robots can learn to grasp from humans
Teaching robots to handle objects gracefully and effortlessly like humans has remained a great challenge in robotics. We built new tools to understand the human grasp in detail, in hopes of shaping the next generation of robots and prosthesis.May 22, 2020 | 3.5 min read
What our blood can tell us about the bugs in our gut
The microbes in our gut are important to our health, but we do not yet know how to tell if a particular mix of microbes is "healthy". We have found that a small group of molecules present in our blood reflects which kind of microbes live in our gut. This discovery may help in clinical practice to monitor how healthy our gut's tenants are.Feb 26, 2020 | 3.5 min read
A special delivery for malaria-transmitting mosquitoes
Female mosquitoes pass on malaria parasites that infect hundreds of millions of people each year. Despite the progress we have made to prevent this disease, chemical insecticides are not as effective as they used to be. To fight against this life-threatening disease, we have developed a fungus that effectively kills wild-caught mosquitoes and hampers their reproduction.Dec 18, 2019 | 3.5 min read