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Quentin Laurent

Senior Scientific Editor

About Quentin

As a child, Quentin was already passionate for scientific matters. When he got older, his curiosity drove him towards organic chemistry studies in order to understand how the intertwining of small-scale events could regulate bigger ones. This naturally led him to a PhD in cellular uptake to decipher the related molecular mechanisms and find innovative ways to hijack them for future drug delivery. On top of his passion for doing science, Quentin enjoys sharing it with others and showing them the beauty of it through his “Science breaking” stories.

Quentin is the editor of 4 Breaks:

Figuring out the evolved chemistry of fig trees

Fig trees (Ficus carica) produce furanocoumarins, a class of small organic molecules with various medicinal and agricultural applications. Villard et al. studied the enzyme catalysing the first synthetic step in the production of these molecules. They revealed how this enzyme emerged recently and independently within the Ficus lineage in a mechanism called convergent evolution.

May 20, 2022 | 3.5 min read
Notes from underground: naked mole-rats and vocal dialects

Cooperation relies on shared communication systems, such as language. We can now add one of the planet’s most cooperative rodents, the naked mole-rat, to the short list of species that use vocal dialects to help identify group members. Using a combination of computer algorithms and behavioral studies, we recently identified some of the special features of naked mole-rat communication.

Mar 1, 2022 | 3.5 min read
Brain activity of conservatives and liberals diverge while watching the news

Despite unprecedented access to multiple sources of information, polarization in political opinions is on the rise. Why does the same news footage trigger different responses in conservatives and in liberals? Analyzing the brain activity of partisans watching the news, we showed that the same information fosters different responses in their brain.

Jan 5, 2022 | 4 min read
How does the bat find the tree? With a “cognitive” map!

Animals navigate around their home using a variety of strategies. The most advanced one uses a "cognitive map": having spatial memory of places relative to each other, the animal computes the direction to any previously-visited location from anywhere in its home range. We have shown that fruit bats seem to do exactly that, flying in long, exceptionally straight paths between any two locations.

Nov 8, 2021 | 3.5 min read