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 169 Breaks:
The berries and the bees: wild bees do it better
Many commercial strawberry varieties grow bigger and better when pollinated by bees. However, not all bee species are created equal in terms of strawberry pollination. Our study explored the influence of wild and managed pollination on strawberry size.Aug 22, 2019 | 3 min read
Blood-eating cells: a defense or a threat?
Anemia may be caused by alterations in red blood cell development or destruction. We identified an immune cell that develops during inflammation or infection that eats red blood cells, leading to severe anemia. We propose these cells may be beneficial in fighting bacterial or parasitic infections.Aug 21, 2019 | 4 min read
A message in a bottle dating 250 million years ago
The origins of plant groups of the past and present are shrouded by the incompleteness of the fossil record. In a recent study, we described unusual plant-fossil assemblages from the Dead Sea coast of Jordan that reveal the tropics of past Permian times as a cradle for several major seed-plant linages.Aug 20, 2019 | 3.5 min read
Back off predators!! Herbivorous dinosaur with spiny neck
The finding of Bajadasaurus pronuspinax allowed us to better understand the composition of the dinosaur fauna in the lowermost Cretaceous of Patagonia and to show that the evolution of a fence of long neural spines over the neck of these herbivorous dinosaurs was likely adaptive over at least 20 million years.Aug 19, 2019 | 3.5 min read
Fighting food pathogens with the help of a soil bacterium
E. coll O157 (EHEC) is a foodborne pathogen associated with limited treatment options. The University of Glasgow and The University of Strathclyde are exploring natural products from the soil bacteria Streptomyces as novel drugs for these infections.Aug 16, 2019 | 3 min read
Ancient origins of monogamy: do you tolerate your partner because of your genes?
Monogamy has evolved independently in all of the major lineages of vertebrates. We investigated the gene activity in the brains of monogamous male mice, voles, birds, frogs, and fish and found similar changes in gene expression each time monogamy evolves. This finding suggests that the basic molecular and neural machinery of monogamy has ancient origins in the common ancestor of vertebrates.Aug 14, 2019 | 3.5 min read