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Dr. Reinier Prosee

Senior Scientific Editor

About Reinier

Like the other members of TheScienceBreaker, Reinier has a wide range of personal and scientific interests. Between obtaining his master’s degree in Neuroscience (University of Oxford) and starting a PhD in Molecular Biology (University of Geneva), Reinier worked for a medical publishing company in London. This experience increased his awareness of the communication gap between scientists and the broader public. Being part of TheScienceBreaker, Reinier aims to help bridge this gap by opening up the scientific processes behind new developments so that it can be discussed in a free, open and more inclusive way.

Reinier is the editor of 10 Breaks:

Scrambled frog eggs return to life

Eggs have a highly organized spatial structure. Common sense tells us that if we scramble this structure, the life of the egg will probably end. Contrary to this expectation, we discovered that scrambled frog eggs can spontaneously re-organize into compartments that not only resemble cells, but also divide to produce copies of compartments like living cells in a developing embryo.

Aug 31, 2020 | 3.5 min read
The Rat's Euler Whiskers

Rats have notably long whiskers. We wondered how one can best describe the shape of those whiskers. Our extensive analysis of 523 whiskers led us to conclude that all the whiskers on a rat's cheek can be well approximated by segments of a Euler Spiral. So what?- you may well ask.

Jul 13, 2020 | 4 min read
How behavior can transcend generations

Classical genetics dictates that chromosomal DNA stores all the heritable information. However, the DNA sequence is not the only piece of information that one generation passes down to the next. We here present a compelling case where the ability of roundworms to efficiently find food is passed on to its future generation by the production of small molecules, known as small RNAs.

Dec 10, 2019 | 3.5 min read
Enhancing cassava for better nutrition in every bite

Cassava is an important food crop in sub-Saharan Africa, but contains relatively small amounts of essential vitamins and minerals. The addition of just two genes from another plant into cassava enables it to produce and store significantly more iron and zinc, which is retained through common cooking processes. This new crop can contribute to a more balanced diet and prevent cases of hidden hunger.

Sep 17, 2019 | 3.5 min read
"Peeling back the onion": a multi-layered approach to understand the dynamics of sleep

We have taken a systems genetics look at sleep to peel back the many layers regulating sleep. Using this approach, we could connect specific DNA variations to sleep traits and track the layer-to-layer information flow. Peeling back the –omics onion of sleep is thus revealing a number of new insights that can now be followed up on.

Apr 17, 2019 | 4 min read
Marine mammals may suffer dire consequences of ancient gene loss

Genes encode proteins that perform functions in our bodies, so when we lose genes, we lose the ability to perform their associated tasks. For marine mammals, loss of one gene may leave them especially vulnerable to exposure to widely-used chemicals.

Feb 8, 2019 | 4 min read