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Dr. Akira Ohkubo

In-house Scientific Editor

About Akira

Akira has always been captivated with the art of storytelling. He soon realized that he could merge this interest with his scientific career. For example, how would you explain what DNA is to a 5 year old child? He believes that questions like this can be clearly answered by using metaphors and stories which can be easily understood by everyone. Since science is one of the best ways to uncover the beauty of our world, Akira aims to bring this message across by sharing exciting and elegant scientific stories with TheScienceBreaker.

Akira is the editor of 21 Breaks:

How your body knows to shout ‘ouch’

Why is holding hands enjoyable but stubbing fingers painful? Our body judges whether a physical force is “dangerous” depending on its intensity to decide if it is worth feeling painful to protect itself against additional damage. Here, we discover a long-awaited novel pain sensor in the skin.

Mar 5, 2021 | 3.5 min read
Is dark matter lighting up the sky with X-rays?

We know little about dark matter beyond its existence. That would change dramatically if hints of dark matter decaying to X-rays were confirmed. Indeed, this signal could be the evidence that finally helps unravel one of the greatest mysteries in physics and astronomy. Yet when searching for that signal in our own Milky Way, we found only dark skies.

Mar 2, 2021 | 4 min read
Tuberculosis drug discovery: an in-house toxin blocks pathogenic bacterial growth

Tuberculosis causes more deaths worldwide every year than any other infectious disease, except COVID-19. Today, its treatment is getting increasingly challenging due to the rise of antibiotic-resistant variants of disease-causing bacteria. We discovered an in-house toxin that blocks pathogenic bacterial growth, offering potential clues for future drug design.

Feb 26, 2021 | 3 min read
Too hot to stay cool: dangerously accelerating glaciers’ melt in New Zealand

Glaciers persisting over centuries respond slowly to environmental changes, allowing scientists to estimate the long-term effects of climate change. We reveal that at least 40% of the ice in mountain glaciers across the Southern Alps in New Zealand, has been lost since the Little Ice Age. The accelerating loss of the natural water reservoir has highlighted the severity of ongoing climate change.

Feb 24, 2021 | 3.5 min read
Exposing the remnant core of a giant planet

Beyond the Solar System, the universe includes numerous exoplanets: planets orbiting around other stars. The discovery of a giant exoplanet strangely lacking a gas layer on the surface reveals what the core of giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn, typically covered by a gas blanket, might look like.

Feb 22, 2021 | 4 min read
How a mint turned into catmint

The plant catmint can send your cat into a state of frenzy. It generates a cat-tempting chemical, unlike other members of the mint family. This study has investigated how this unique plant evolved the ability to make the cat attractant.

Feb 17, 2021 | 3.5 min read