Ilaria, cell biologist by training and curious by nature, has always felt the intrinsic need to satisfy her curious mind. After years of scientific education and a PhD in molecular biology, she has developed a passion for communicating all that she learned and continues to learn to the non-scientists that surround her. Today, she is convinced that a scientist’s role in society is two-fold: doing and communicating science. For these reasons, Ilaria now seeks to complement her work at the bench with a role in disseminating science and facilitating knowledge transfer to the lay public.
Ilaria is the editor of 4 Breaks:
Mitochondria as microlenses in the eye – the evolution of an improved camera sensor
The neurons of the eye that detect light must be very sensitive. They also need a lot of energy, so they contain many mitochondria - however, mitochondria scatter light. In our recent study, we show how evolution may have found a way to have the best of both worlds: Why not build mitochondria into a lens that helps, rather than hurts, visual sensitivity?Oct 21, 2022 | 4 min read
The mechanisms behind synchronized hunts in spiders
Spiders are known for their aggressive behavior, but some species are social. This is the case for Anelosimus eximius, a social species that forms colonies with hundreds of spiders living in a common web. When hunting, these spiders synchronize their movements: they start and stop quickly, all at the same time. Analyses explain how this impressive ballet could emerge from simple behavioral rules.Sep 28, 2022 | 3.5 min read
What’s on your mind? A sneak-peek of your wandering thoughts
Have you ever noticed that your thoughts are sometimes focused on the task-at-hand, while other times, your mind wanders from topic to topic? Our new study found that individuals’ brain activity can provide a glimpse into how their train of thought unfolds over time. Specifically, it reveals whether their minds are focused on a task, wandering from topic to topic, or constrained to a topic.Mar 18, 2022 | 4 min read
Can forests survive climate change?
Human-induced (anthropogenic) climate change is exposing forests to a growing risk of drought-induced tree mortality. Replacement patterns following drought related mortality indicate that predrought dominant tree species have limited short-term persistence, highlighting the likelihood for major ecosystem reorganization and its implication to changing forest biodiversity in the coming decades.Jan 21, 2022 | 4 min read