Muting Questions #6 – Are we parasites?

Ecology is the study of interactions among organisms and their environment. Two particularly interesting interactions occur between Predators and Preys and a slightly different between Hosts and Parasites. Predator-prey interactions are a typical study topic for ecological and evolutionary dynamics. It’s quite inuitive for us to understand that predator and prey exert a selective pressure…

DNA – three layers of information?

Some time ago in the “Jaw Drop #3 – A DNA’s orchestra” post I talked about how important DNA is for our lives. I emphasized what an extraordinary molecule DNA is both for its simplicity and for its utility. I remarked how nowadays everybody have at least heard of the “big molecule”, but unfortunately, most…

The difficulty of understanding nature

A precious thing that being a biologist gives you is the ability to see the world in a different way. As you can imagine this includes many different aspects, most of them very subjective. One of my favorite biologist-peculiar special views is how we see our place in the universe. By our place I mean…

My name is.. – Naming can be hard!

If you have a field of knowledge, it being a hobby for coins collection, passion for football or a science, you need names. You want to know which coins are part of your collection, you want to know your favorite players and similarly you want to know what you find/study and talk about. This is…

Jaw Drop #5 – CRISPR/Cas9

With all the recent and less recent talks about genetic engineering, I think it’s easy to get lost into the topic. Modifying a genome, being bacterial or human, is definetly not a new tactic. We’ve been doing that for decades, what’s new is having found a very strong tool. CRISPRS/Cas9 mechanism is being increasing in…

What’s in your genome?

With the new era of Genomics everybody know what a genome is. It’s an organism’s complete set of DNA, including all of its gene. It contains all the information needed to build and mantain the organism. Studying an organim’s genome is like partecipating in a treasure’s hunt: you have many hints and clues to get to…

Muting Questions #4 – What is life (and Species and Genes)?

It always amazes me how, sometimes, these ridiculously easy questions can be so ridiculously hard to answer. In this post in particular I want to propose three different example relevant in Biology: Life, Species and Genes. What amazes me even more than these answers is the fact that people don’t think enough about these questions!…

Jaw Drop #3 – A DNA’s orchestra

At current times, pretty much everybody knows that DNA is a quite important part of a living organism, I should say fundamental. Genetics, Genetic therapies, DNA sequencing, and so on, are developing/improving and being accepted by people faster and faster. Why a biologist can cure you from a genetic disease by alterating your DNA? Why…

Muting Question #3 – SunBathing.. Why do we do it?

Of course, this is not intended to be a guide like: “How to sunbath correctly” or “The perfect sun-tanning method, no more sunburns all over your body”. I mean, if you ask my mom why we sunbath, she has a simple answer: to get tanned, to get browner! Sunbath is good for your skin and…

A personal thought – Why a scientist?

Although I’m probably ending my career as a researcher, I hope in molecular biology, I want to talk about what it is like to be a scientist in general. I know I’m not “officially” a scientist yet and I’ll still need many years to gain the right of being called that, but still, wanting to…

What if trees had hearts?

A classical theme in vegetal physiology and vegetal biology is how do plants absorb water from the ground and distribute it up to every branch, leaf and flower? Although it can seem a quite easy process, it hides a pretty complicated process. Water doesn’t go all the way up thanks to the mere diffusion motion,…