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Zoé Valbret

Senior Scientific Editor

About Zoé

Zoé is passionate about making science accessible to everyone. As a Biology PhD student, Zoé experiments with llama antibodies and human cells. In her science communication, Zoé learned to create short videos with her sister. The curiosity that these videos sparked, encouraged Zoé to explore other ways of sharing current science through writing and podcasts. Now she is thrilled to continue this journey with TheScienceBreaker.

Zoé is the editor of 6 Breaks:

The flesh-eating Venus flytrap plant generates its own magnetic fields

Each leaf of the carnivorous Venus flytrap plant ends in a jaw-like trap which imprisons unsuspecting insect prey. The traps are electrically active and produce electrical signals that trigger the trap to close around the insect. We discovered that this electrical signal also produces a measurable magnetic field.

Oct 19, 2022 | 4 min read
Network resuscitation – pumping life into a failed complex system

When a complex social, biological or ecological network collapses, we seek to steer it back towards functionality. Our recent work maps unique conditions - the recoverable phase - when this can be achieved by controlling just one component. With applications from neuronal networks to our gut-microbiome, we show how a single intervention point can reignite the entire system’s functionality.

Sep 15, 2022 | 4 min read
Cellular tornadoes and how they shape our organs

During development our organs take different distinct shapes. Recent results from our lab showed that under certain circumstances muscle cells collectively spiral and rotate to protrude and self-organize in 3D to form “cellular tornadoes”.

Mar 25, 2022 | 3 min read
Flowering plants outcompeted conifers

It is commonly accepted that the burst in diversity of flowering plants, between 125 and 80 million years ago, had a negative impact on the diversity of other plant groups such as conifers (plants with cones). The diversity of conifers is strongly linked to the increasing diversity of flowering plants since 66 million years ago, thus attesting to the role of competition between plants.

Nov 26, 2021 | 4 min read
Diversity matters – Syphilis and related diseases in historical Europe

Diseases such as syphilis, yaws and bejel are making a comeback. We found an unprecedented diversity of these diseases, possibly pre-dating Columbus’ American expedition long claimed to have introduced syphilis to Europe.

Oct 12, 2021 | 3 min read
Hate heatwaves? Droughts? How about both at the same time?

With climate change comes more climatic extremes, and a higher chance of them happening simultaneously. But they are currently being studied in isolation. Together, drought and heatwaves prompted an exceptionally dangerous wildfire season in the Western U.S. in 2020 and 2021. We show that dry-AND-hot extreme events are increasing in intensity, frequency and spatial extent in the U.S.

Jul 16, 2021 | 3.5 min read