News & Events

Protein synthesis and chance

In the process of protein synthesis there is a "stochastic" component, i.e., involving random chance, which influences the time the process takes. This aspect has been investigated by two research scientists at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste.

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Animate, inanimate, but also social

Social groups (the "rich", the "police", the "elderly"...) constitute a special group for the brain, one that is distinct from other groups, such as animate and inanimate objects. This is the main finding of a neuropsychological study conducted on patients with cognitive impairment.

The first authors of the study are Raffaella Rumiati of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste, and Andrea Carnaghi of the University of Trieste.

The origin of the evil conformation

Prions form when normal proteins acquire a misfolded conformation and cause incurable neurodegenerative diseases. A team of scientists from SISSA has recently published a study that investigates the early events of the conversion from the normal to the disease-causing form of the prion protein.

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Concorso fotografico “De Rerum Natura”

"De Rerum Natura" è il titolo del nuovo concorso fotografico promosso dal Laboratorio Interdisciplinare della SISSA. Un richiamo alla natura, ma anche alla scienza: è infatti anche il titolo del famoso poema di Lucrezio, dove lo stupore e la meraviglia per la natura si intrecciano allo sguardo analitico dello scienziato. Per raccontare la natura e la scienza, le immagini sono uno strumento fondamentale e proprio per questo la SISSA chiede al pubblico dei fotografi amatoriali di proporre una fotografia che rappresenti un fenomeno naturale o un momento della ricerca scientifica.

Molecules as circuits

The progressive miniaturization of electronic devices requires the creation of increasingly small circuits. With traditional technology, this miniaturization is hampered by the limits imposed by physics, but some have thought of using molecules as circuits.

If molecules are to be able to do this efficiently, they need to improve their poor conduction ability. In a study published in PNAS, a team of researchers featuring Ryan Requist, Erio Tosatti and Michele Fabrizio of SISSA shows how the Kondo effect can improve the conductivity of some magnetic molecules.

The brain’s RAM

Thousands of times a day, the brain stores sensory information for very short periods of time in a working memory, to be able to use it later. A research study carried out with the collaboration of SISSA has shown, for the first time, that this function also exists in the brain of rodents, a finding that sheds light on the evolutionary origins of this cognitive mechanism.

A European grant to study vision

The International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste has obtained a major grant from the European Research Council (ERC) to study the visual system. This is the eleventh ERC grant awarded to SISSA, which once again confirms its position among the Italian research centres that have won the largest number of these grants.

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Forever young?

Mauro Giacca

February 5, 2013 - 3.00 pm

SISSA, Main Lecture Hall

Via Bonomea 265, Trieste

Easier said than done

"Moral" psychology has traditionally been studied by subjecting individuals to moral dilemmas, that is, hypothetical choices regarding typically dangerous scenarios, but it has rarely been validated "in the field". This limitation may have led to systematic bias in hypotheses regarding the cognitive bases of moral judgements.

A study relying on virtual reality has demonstrated that, in real situations, we might be far more "utilitarian" than believed so far.

A chance to attend the MCA

Last December 30 was the closing date for enrolments in the Master's in Complex Actions (MCA) of SISSA (the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste), but there's another opportunity for latecomers: classes will be open to a limited number of audit students who will be given the chance to enrol normally for the academic year 2013-2014. 

25 years of DNA on the computer

For about 20 years now, experimental research on nuclear DNA has been supplemented by research based on computer simulations aimed at reconstructing the structure and function of this molecule that is so essential to life as we know it.

A systematic review – carried out with the participation of SISSA in Trieste – provides a detailed summary of the majority of models developed to date. The review is mainly aimed at biologists, for whom it may become an important research tool.

Smooth or grainy?

A paper by Stefano Liberati from SISSA has been selected as one of the 2013 Highlight papers (the best papers of the year) of the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity. The paper is a systematic review of the methods devised by scientists since the 90s to test Einstein's laws of Special Relativity, up to the highest observable energies. These types of tests are important: deviations from Special Relativity could in fact indicate that space-time is not continuous but grainy. 

Emotions in Parkinson’s disease

A study conducted with the collaboration of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste investigates the origins of the difficulty recognizing certain emotions that affects patients with Parkinson's disease. Is this impairment caused by the disease itself or is it in part the consequence of a widely used treatment (deep brain stimulation)?

3D printing and “mechatronics” at SISSA

The arrival of a new 3D printer marks the start of a "mechatronic" age at SISSA. The new laboratory will enable SISSA investigators to be increasingly self-sufficient in designing and constructing the experimental setups and machinery needed for their studies.

Thanks to sophisticated equipment, including a new-generation 3D printer, and to the laboratory's expertise, scientists will no longer have to adapt their research to the constraints of existing technology but will be able to work more creatively, developing technology that fits the needs of scientific investigation.

Nanofriction on the tip of the microscope

A research paper published in the journal Nature Materials, the result of the collaboration between a group of theoretical physicists from the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste and a group of experimental physicists from the University of Basel, reveals the secrets of the nanofriction produced when an atomic force microscope observes the surface of certain materials.

A look at the infinitely small

Stefan Hell

December 19, 2013 - 11 am

SISSA, Main Lecture Hall

Via Bonomea, 265 - Trieste

Until a short time ago scientists thought it was impossible to observe objects smaller than 200 nanometres under an optical microscope. Stefan Hell, a physicist of the Max Plank Institute, found a way to overcome this limit, inventing a method to observe biological tissues down to the molecular scale. The physicist talked about his research at a public conference at SISSA. 

Viral puzzles

The genome of viruses is usually enclosed inside a shell called capsid. Capsids have unique mechanic properties: they have to be resistant and at the same time capable of dissolving in order to release the genome into the infected cell.

The scientists of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste have coordinated a study on the mechanic properties of viruses that have improved their understanding, so much that they were able to make conjectures on the behavior of still little-known viruses

Twenty years of precision cosmology

Licia Verde

December 11, 2013 - 3.30 pm

SISSA, Main lecture hall

Via Bonomea, 265 - Trieste

“Soft” (and miniaturized) robots

Increasingly small robots that carry out their functions even inside the human body. No, this isn't a sci-fi dream but a close possibility. On one condition: the miniaturization of these devices requires them to acquire the same "softness" and flexibility as biological tissues.

Athletes and the words for actions

The International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste (SISSA) took part in a study on a sample of professional women volleyball players to better understand the relationship between the cognitive and motor systems.

According to the research, the brain's involvement in motor actions is more complex than was thought so far.

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