Science Pops Open, Ep. 1: “Your body can defend itself against cancer. It just needs a little help!”

Research fellows of the AXA Research Fund tell the story of their work to reduce an array of risks

Everywhere you turn, it seems, there’s another risk to tackle. If it’s not cancer, then it’s your finances, to say nothing of what will happen to our world if climate change suddenly alters the jet stream. And did you ever even think about the health effects of air pollution in the subway?!

It could all be totally overwhelming, but, actually, you can rest assured that something’s being done about it! In Science Pops Open, the new weekly video series, meet young researchers supported by the AXA Research Fund who have devoted themselves to our understanding of and ability to minimize risks of all shapes and sizes. Not only that, they've learned to talk about their work to us non-experts! First up: Margot Cucchetti, a researcher studying the game of snooker being played between our immune system and cancer.

Cet article existe également en français :

Science Pops Open, Ep. 1 : Votre corps peut se défendre contre le cancer. Il lui faut juste un coup de pouce !

 

Everywhere you turn, it seems, there’s another risk to tackle. If it’s not cancer, then it’s your finances, to say nothing of what will happen to our world if climate change suddenly alters the jet stream. And did you ever even think about the health effects of air pollution in the subway?!

It could all be totally overwhelming, but, actually, you can rest assured that something’s being done about it! There are experts working on all of these issues, scientists supported by the AXA Research Fund, who devote themselves to our understanding of and ability to minimize risks of all shapes and sizes.

The key to their success depends on others being able to rebound off their results and turn this knowledge into effective action. 19 fellows of the AXA Research Fund took part in the Pop Days science popularization workshops to learn how to make that happen. In the video series Science Pops Open, we’ll bring you the results of their efforts to communicate to the world their respective expertise on risks of all kinds.

You’ll meet a new researcher each week who is contributing his or her part to the wide spectrum of problems being addressed, and get a great example of science communication to boot! Learn what your sense of smell has to do with depression, how communities can snap back like elastic bands following an earthquake, even the risks related to social welfare and solutions to manage them. 

Watch for a new episode every Monday. And, without further ado, find out from cancer researcher Margot Cucchetti what on earth cancer has to do with playing pool… 

Episode 1: “Your body can defend itself against cancer. It just needs a little help!”

 

“Cancer is the disease of this century,” declares Margot Cucchetti, right out of the gate. There’s no questioning the importance of research like hers: About half of us are at risk of developing cancer, and a quarter of those around us could die from it. Margot Cucchetti’s PhD work in immunology at the French biomedical institute Inserm is different from many other cancer researchers’, though. She’s not looking for a cure—not directly. She wants to understand, first of all, what’s happening inside our cells when cancer takes hold in the body.

Specifically, she aims to discover what goes wrong when our immune system fails to remove cancerous cells from our body, the way it does with other, external threats like bacteria or viruses. If she can identify these “bugs” in the system, she hopes her results will provide important targets for others developing new cancer drugs.

But Margot explains it best, using an analogy borrowed from the world of billiards, in which cancer becomes a game of snooker for the immune system. Listen to her story about her attempt to reduce the risk of cancer for us all:

Next:

Travel to the western Sahel region of Africa, through Ruben Andersson’s research, where he works to manage the diverse risks arising from multiple levels of insecurity.

More Episodes of Science Pops Open:

Ep. 1 – Your body can defend itself against cancer. It just needs a little help!, with Margot Cucchetti 

Ep. 2 – Improving outcomes of crisis and conflict, thanks to an ethnographic outlook, with Ruben Andersson

Ep. 3 – After an Earthquake, the Show Must Go On, with Anna Reggio

Ep. 4 – Disrupting the Sleeping Sickness Symphony, with Fabien Guegan

Ep. 5 – Optimizing Welfare…and Equality, with Sean Slack

Ep. 6 – Awaiting Balance in the Adolescent Brain, with Kiki Zanolie

Ep. 7 – Come Drought or High Water, with Luciano Raso

Ep. 8 – Taking European Tornadoes by Storm, with Bogdan Antonescu

Ep. 9 – Learning to Tackle Climate Change Together, with Sandrine Sidze

Ep. 10 – Nourish the Children of Urban Slums, with Sophie Goudet

Ep. 11 – In Money Matters, We're Only Human, with Jeroen Nieboer

Ep. 12 – A Depressed Sense of Smell?, with Kalliopi Apazoglou

Ep. 13 – Climate Shifts Carried on a River of Air, with Nikolaos Bakas

Ep. 14 – Something in the Air Down There, with Fulvio Amato

Ep. 15 – Foretelling a Complex Future for our Complex Ecosystems, with Phillip Staniczenko

Ep. 16 – From Childhood Illness to Innovative Antibiotics, with Agata Starosta

Ep. 17 – Plants & Poisons: Assessing Contamination in Our Environment, with Natalia Ospina-Alvarez

Ep. 18 – Voice of a Storm Surge, with Emiliano Renzi