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Massimo Caine

About Massimo

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.

Massimo is the editor of 321 Breaks:

Elpistostege: a fish with legs or a tetrapod with fins?

The recent discovery of a complete 375 million-year-old fossil from eastern Canada, Elpistostege watsoni, clarifies our understanding of the origin of digits and hands in tetrapods. This subject has puzzled evolutionary biologists for more than 150 years. The Devonian Elpistostege had digits embedded in its pectoral fin - a condition preceding the origin of hands in tetrapods.

Dec 16, 2020 | 4 min read
More droughts, more war?

Historically, violent conflicts tend to predominantly erupt in bad years, when droughts, floods, or heatwaves put the functioning of societies to the test. Does this mean that violent conflicts will become more frequent as extreme weather becomes increasingly common, globally, because of climate change?

Dec 14, 2020 | 3.5 min read
Mosquito travel diaries: destinations, routes, stowaways, and … cost

Half the world's population is at risk of illness or death from malaria, dengue, and other mosquito-borne diseases. This study shows that mosquitos are able to travel hundreds of kilometers- far longer than previously expected- forcing us to rethink how mosquitoes and pathogens travel.

Dec 10, 2020 | 4 min read
A contributing gene for cannabis dependence

Individual variations in our genetic material contribute to more than we imagined and may combine with age and sex to influence how someone responds to drugs of abuse. Our results show that our genes might affect how much an individual likes marijuana due to underlying differences in reward regions of the brain.

Dec 8, 2020 | 3 min read
Corals display bright colours to fight bleaching

Stressful conditions do not always render reef corals white. We found that mild or brief exposure of corals to heat stress or to unfavourable nutrient conditions does not only cause the loss of the vital symbiont alga but also switches on an optical feedback loop that results in a dazzling display of coral colours. The enhanced pigmentation is thought to help the corals to recover.

Dec 3, 2020 | 4 min read
What causes an Ice Age to end?

Ice-age cycles define the major climate features of Earth's geologically recent past. Combining information from caves, deep-ocean sediments, and astronomical calculations can help unravel when and why these cycles occur.

Dec 1, 2020 | 3.5 min read