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Sofia Spataro

Senior Scientific Editor

About Sofia

Sofia is a biomedical researcher and a PhD candidate in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Geneva since 2019. She believes that scientific progress belongs to everyone, and for this reason she is involved in science communication and vulgarization. She is constantly amazed by science and she's thrilled to share her passion with the general public. With her enthusiasm, Sofia is pursuing a PhD studying the cellular mechanism of a rare syndrome affecting the kidneys.

Sofia is the editor of 8 Breaks:

Surprising Behavior Changes in Genetically Modified Syrian Hamsters

Social behavior and communication are key to building relationships in most species. Vasopressin, a neurochemical commonly known for regulating blood pressure and water balance, also plays a critical role in regulating social behavior and communication. Here, we show that deleting vasopressin receptors can lead to behavioral changes that are opposite of what is expected.

Aug 30, 2023 | 4 min read
Sensorimotor wandering: leading spontaneously early human development

Have you ever seen a newborn baby seemingly aimlessly move their arms and legs? Even though babies at this stage have little understanding of the world or how to control their own bodies, babies wander and pursue various sensorimotor experiences by moving their limbs. This “sensorimotor wandering” contributes to early development in terms of learning the basis of how to control one’s own body.

Jun 2, 2023 | 3 min read
The Pawsitive Effect of Therapy Dogs in a Hospital Emergency Department

Pain is the main reason people attend an emergency department. Our study examined the effect of a therapy dog visit on reducing patient pain in an ED. We found that pain improved after the dog visit compared to no change in control patients. Patient anxiety, depression, and well-being also improved. These findings help to establish the potential value of therapy dogs in an emergency setting.

Apr 14, 2023 | 3 min read
The Impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the Brain: It Is All in Your Head

What is going on with SARS-CoV-2 infection and your brain? Even in mild infection there may be neurological injury that affects recovery. In our study, brain tissue recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infected non-human primates revealed microbleeds, neuron injury and death, and evidence of brain hypoxia, all of which may cause long-lasting neurological symptoms after infection.

Feb 15, 2023 | 3.5 min read
RAINmakers: how receptors orchestrate specific cell functions

The exact interplay between receptors and their downstream signaling influences essentially all physiological functions. But how can a cell discriminate between hundreds of different receptors that share the same downstream signaling transducers? We find receptor-associated independent signaling nanodomains (RAINs) around single receptors which can specifically switch signaling cascades on or off.

Feb 2, 2023 | 4 min read
Mathematical paradoxes unearth the boundaries of AI

Instability is AI's Achilles’ heel. We show the following paradox: there are cases where stable and accurate AI exists, but it can never be trained by any algorithm. We initiate a foundations theory for when AI can be trained - such a programme will shape political and legal decision-making in the coming decades, and have a significant impact on markets for AI technologies.

Aug 29, 2022 | 3.5 min read