Italys' Brain Drain is UK's Brain Gain or How One Young Italian Made a Discovery that Could Help Fight Cancer

In 1953, two Cambridge scientists, Watson and Crick, famously discovered the DNA's double helix structure. Now, sixty years later, Cambridge researchers have made yet another amazing discovery: they found a quadruple helix structure that appears to be linked to cell proliferation, hence cancer. 

The discovery raises the interesting possibility of "sequestering" these so-called "G-quadruplexes" and in so doing, one might eventually be able to control cancer. This is still early days, but it is a confirmation that science is on the right "genetic" path to find a cure. For more on this, read here

What I find intriguing is that the experiment, while done by a team as is always the case, was nonetheless designed by a young Italian woman, Giulia Biffi, age 26, who also co-wrote the paper that was published on Nature Chemistry last January. She was recently interviewed by the Italian magazine Espresso that showed a nice picture of her at her graduation (she got her Ph.D. from Cambridge):

When asked whether she'd like to return to Italy, she was quick to reply that there was no possibility, no funding to allow for research...Where she is now in Cambridge, working in a lab with many co-workers and plenty of advanced equipment, the research is funded by Cancer Research UK.

Italy's brain drain is UK's brain gain, and just as often, you come across similar cases in the US and Canada.

Yet another symptom of Italy's sick economy...  


I'm surprised at the lack of comments! I find it absolutely remarkable that a young woman, far away from her country and family, should make such an important discovery...Of course, not alone, she worked with her team in Cambridge (as all scientists do nowadays, science has become so complex that going it alone is no longer possible). Still, everyone there acknowledges her outstanding constribution...