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 153 Breaks:
Genetic determinants of thinness and obesity: cards of the same deck
Obesity is a major public health concern. While most genetic studies have focused on obesity, we opted to look at the contribution of genetic variation to healthy thinness. In this study, we found that propensity to obesity or thinness is affected mostly by the same genes.Jul 12, 2019 | 3.5 min read
A timeline for the Denisovans, an enigmatic group of archaic humans
The Denisovans are a mysterious group of archaic humans named after the type locality of Denisova Cave in southern Siberia. The site was also occupied at times by Neanderthals and modern humans. Thanks to optical dating and environmental reconstructions we defined a robust chronology for these archaic humans.Jul 10, 2019 | 3.5 min read
Overturning the hypothesis for how humans evolved language
Few traits are as uniquely human as complex spoken language. Language, therefore, has interested evolutionary biologists and neuroscientists seeking to understand what makes us, and in particular our brains, distinct from other animals.Jul 8, 2019 | 4 min read
High extinction risk for wild coffee species and implications for coffee sector sustainability
Coffee is a globally significant commodity and the source of livliehoods for millions of farmers worldwide. Our coffee crop plants, represent very recent domestication events. We found that at least 60% of all coffee species are threatened with extinction, 45% are not held in any germplasm collection, and 28% are not known to occur in any protected area.Jul 5, 2019 | 4 min read
What can science tell us about mortality and survival in Game of Thrones?
Fatal injuries caused by assault and operations of war are commonplace in the lands of Westeros and Essos. Switching allegiances is a key factor in increasing the chances of survival.Jul 1, 2019 | 3.5 min read
Lighting a candle in the dark
Cyanobacteria have always lived on solar power… yet we found them living in the Earth’s crust, 600 meters below the surface. Our results suggest that they have repurposed their metabolic machinery to burn hydrogen for energy.Jun 24, 2019 | 4 min read