From complexity to the extreme order

Crystals are not as uncommon entities as we might think. They hold a great value for catalysis, imaging, and drug delivery applications. We might be used to see water crystals in our ice cream, but we can also find them in our makeup, and in our fresh or aged cheese.

Those white crunchy spots looking like small stones we find in Parmigiano reggiano or Grana Padano are not mold but crystals made of lactic acid or amino acids. The formation of crystalline structures made of protein was observed already in the XIX century and food scientists know them very well


Elements, bacteria, cells… and even some gold.

When I put my body on the scale, I often get surprised. Then the second thought is ‘how dare you??!? I feel good and I see myself in a great shape, clothes feel and look great … the scale tells me however a confusing reality.

Where is that number coming from? It cannot be only the pasta I eat or the bars of dark chocolate that accompany me everuwhere (see below).

That number on the scale is the result of inorganic components like the calcium in my bones, organic ones like carbohydrates and…


Science and a personal experience

This is a hot topic for mums. Some say it is no issue, some say a small glass can have side-effects. I had a bad experience with my 18-month year old and started to look into the scientific literature with the eyes of a biologist. This is not statistically significant, yet it might resonate with you.

Breastfeeding and alcohol consumption is debated. A liberating wave is coming suggesting moderate drinking should not be a problem for your milk supply and especially for your baby. Meanwhile, many women are cautious and wisely avoid alcoholic drinks all…


The protein on the beach.

When you see something black or very dark coloured in nature, you can be almost sure this enzyme is responsible.

Tyrosinase is a V.I.P, enzymes giving more than 157’000 results in GoogleScholar. From the mold in the bathroom to old bananas, melanin is present in all living organisms and tyrosinase is the guilty one producing it. Siamese and Burmese cats owe their patterned fur to their tyrosinases, that carry mutations affecting their activity that is lost in the warm regions of the body. …


Time is the currency of our life.

We spend it, we manage it, we chase it, and we often try to stretch it. We track the passing of time each day with our watches, smart watches, agendas and well planned appointments. By arranging our meetings, car trips, shopping trips, chores, and coffees with friends over the 24 hours, we coordinate our work and personal life. We do this by slicing our day into time slots we then distribute to work, family, friends, hobbies, commuting, and even self-care.

Time management has be en invented in the early XX Century to optimise…


Capire e seguire la pandemia — grafici di Dr. AZM

Mentre si acquisisce familiarita’ con le nuove regole che limitano la nostra libertà di movimento e gettano una nuova luce dorata sul valore di avere un sistema sanitario efficiente, è facile perdere la visione d’insieme della diffusione globale del virus.

Cosa sappiamo di COVID-19?

Il Coronavirus COVID-19 è emerso alla fine del 2019 a Wuhan, una città di oltre 6 milioni di abitanti nella Cina orientale. L’Italia è attualmente il punto focale della pandemia con oltre 1K di nuovi casi ogni giorno e più di 2K deceduti, al momento.

I coronavirus sono particelle con…


How to visualise and understand the pandemic — graphs by Dr. AZM

Caught up by the new rules limiting our freedom of movement and shedding a new light on the value of having an efficient healthcare system, it is easy to lose the overview of what is a global viral spread.

What do we know about COVID-19?

Coronavirus COVID-19 emerged in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city of more than 6 million inhabitants in Eastern China. Italy is currently the focal point of the pandemic with more than 1K new cases each day and more than 2K deceased, as writing.

Coronaviruses are particles with a spherical…


il forte ma dolce disinfettante che ci protegge

“Lisozima” potrebbe non essere una parola familiare per molti. È comunque una proteina, un enzima, abbastanza presente nelle nostre vite.

Costituisce uno dei meccanismi di difesa più forti del nostro corpo. Nuota nelle nostre lacrime e nella nostra saliva, nel liquido amniotico e nel latte materno per proteggere i bebè dalle infezioni intestinali.

L’ho persino appena visto scritto sul mio farmaco per il mald di gola!

Il lisozima e’ anche nel latto materno come arma di difesa

Cosa fa il lisozima?

Il lisozima è una piccola proteina che attacca i batteri e distrugge una delle loro strutture cruciali, la complessa membrana che li circonda e tiene insieme…


Le auto sono fantastiche, non franitendiamoci.

Le mie migliori vacanze le ricordo sicuramente sedut in un’auto che mi porta verso la spiaggia viaggiando lungo un’autostrada calda e soleggiata. Adoro le auto con sedili morbidi e vellutati e i migliori altoparlanti. Il loro odore di plastica nuova e pelle creaseocndo me, dipendenza.

Non posso negarlo, adoro il piccolo ambiente creato da un’auto e l’intimità che crea quando sei con il tuo migliore amico, il tuo amore, la tua famiglia. Adoro guidare con le persone che chiacchierano intorno a me o cantano ad alta voce come se non ci fosse un domani.

Greta Faccio, PhD

Creative and analytical —scientist, innovator, inventor, blogger @ poetryfromthelab.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store