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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:

A soil bacterium unmasks a human enzyme

We now know the human genome and, with it, most of the proteins we make, but we don't know what a good number of these proteins do. Thanks to a social soil bacterium and studying how it responds to light, we have now identified the human protein needed to make a special class of abundant, yet enigmatic, lipids that are important in human biology and health.

Sep 3, 2020 | 3.5 min read
Enabling a hydrogen-fueled future

Hydrogen embrittlement is an obstacle for using metals in hydrogen fuel technologies. We found the origin of this effect by using a customized state-of-the-art microscope to directly observe hydrogen at both defects and an incoherent interface between internal carbides and the surrounding steel.

Sep 1, 2020 | 4.5 min read
The "reasonable irrationality" principle

Throughout history, humans have searched for ways to improve their decisions. The idea of sound judgment attracted philosophers, economists, lawyers and counselling psychologists. Understanding sound decision-making is fundamental to our lives, as our financial decisions, the legal system, general well-being and even sports depend on it.

Aug 26, 2020 | 3.5 min read
De-liver-ing blood and immune cells to the developing human

Little is known about how the human immune system develops before birth. However, with advances in sampling methods and gene mapping technologies, we have completed an atlas of the developing blood and immune systems. This will enable us to use this knowledge for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and to better understand diseases.

Aug 25, 2020 | 3 min read
Aquatic plants are influenced by the surrounding landscape

Have you ever had an aquarium with plants and failed to make it flourish? In this recent study published in Science, we show that the mineral composition of the soils in the surrounding landscape controls the aquatic vegetation in adjacent lakes, but not in streams, and there are lessons to be also learned for the hobbyist.

Aug 18, 2020 | 3 min read
Vicious Circles – how changes in the shape of DNA can drive cancer

One of the most iconic images in biology is the 23 pairs of chromosomes in the human cell. It is central to the paradigm of inheritance. Our recent findings show that cancer breaks that rule. We have explained how changes in the shape of DNA, as it forms a circle, promotes cancer. This scenario makes cancer to evolve quickly and more resistant to treatments.

Aug 17, 2020 | 3.5 min read