News & Events

It is easier for a DNA knot…

Anyone who has been on a sailing boat knows that tying a knot is the best way to secure a rope to a hook and prevent its slippage. The same applies to sewing threads where knots are introduced to prevent them slipping through two pieces of fabric. How, then, can long DNA filaments, which have convoluted and highly knotted structure, manage to pass through the tiny pores of various biological systems?

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Looking for signs of the Big Bang

The silence of an immense desolate land in which to search for reverberations coming from the time at which everything began. The Simons Observatory will be built in the Chilean Atacama desert at an altitude of several thousand meters for the purposes of studying primordial gravitational waves which originated in the first instants of the Big Bang. The SISSA research group led by Carlo Baccigalupi and Francesca Perrotta will take part in this prestigious international project which will lead to the realization  of an ultra-modern telescope project.

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Johannes Kepler, a puzzling modernity

On Wednesday 22 March 2017 the historian of physics Anna Maria Lombardi will give a seminar dedicated to the German astronomer Johannes Kepler. Kepler’s laws are encompassed by the laws of classical mechanics established by Newton in 1687. But they were discovered almost 80 years before, in a dramatically different context, in which the German astronomer could rely neither on appropriate maths or physics, nor on what we call nowadays “scientific method”. How could he succeed in finding his astronomical laws?

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Beyond excellence

«Leading-edge science can succeed only with the support of small-scale, bottom-up research». World-renowned scientist Giorgio Parisi, at SISSA in Trieste on March 17th to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the European Research Council (ERC), outlines his vision of research policy.

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Investigating altruism through virtual reality

A computer-based environment developed with the aim to shed light on the origins of altruism: this is the innovative approach used by a research group at SISSA in collaboration with the University of Udine. This new study - recently published in the journal Neuropsychologia – immersed participants in a virtual environment that reproduced a building on fire which they had to evacuate in a hurry, deciding whether to save their lives or interrupt their escape and help rescue an injured person.

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SISSA: attractive and international

Attractive and international: SISSA is swimming against the tide. As emerged in a recent UNESCO report on trends in higher education worldwide, entitled “Towards 2030”, in Italy foreign doctoral students account for just 11% of the total. SISSA is way ahead, pulling in 34% of its PhD students from abroad. And that’s not all. The new government report on Italian academic research quality (VQR) highlights SISSA’s ability to attract internationally acclaimed researchers from the world’s most renowned universities.

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SISSA joins "M'illumino di meno 2017"

On Friday 24 February 2017, SISSA will participate in the initiative “M’illumino di meno 2017” dedicated to energy saving and organized by the Radio2 program Caterpillar. The Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers and several other institutions and organizations will join the initiative. Tomorrow afternoon, the corridor lighting will be turned off from 6.00 to 8.00 p.m. We invite the scientific and administrative staff to participate switching off the lights in the offices and labs.

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Brain awareness week 2017

Artificial intelligence, language, time perception, nutrition, vaccines: these are some of the themes that will be covered from the 13th to 18th of March in Trieste - and for the first time also in Gorizia - for Brain Awareness Week. The local initiative is organised by the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of SISSA in Trieste and the BRAIN Centre of the Department of Life Sciences of the University of Trieste, in collaboration with the Science Centre Immaginario Scientifico and the Municipality of Trieste.

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The birth of Gravitational Wave

On Tuesday 28 February 2017, Adele La Rana, from University of Rome “La Sapienza”, will give a seminar on the history of gravitational waves studies, focusing on the origin of the first experimental activities in Italy aimed at detecting gravitational radiation. “The Birth of Gravitational Wave. Research in Italy: Insights into a Scientific Frontier Adventure” is one of the “History of science” seminars organized by SISSA Interdisciplinary Laboratory.

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Anvur report

First in physics, first in neurosciences, second in mathematics. The aggregate data issued by ANVUR - the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of the University and Research Systems – prove beyond doubt SISSA’s absolute prominent role in these research areas within the national panorama.

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Run for Telethon

On Saturday 4 March 2017 SISSA will host the first edition of the 6 x ½ hour Telethon relay, a non-competitive fundraising event. All proceeds will be donated to Telethon Foundation to support research that leads to cures for rare genetic diseases. The event is organised by BNL - Paribas and SISSA in collaboration with RunningWorldTrieste.

Participants will have to be at least 18 years old on 4 March 2017. Teams may consist of 6, 3 or 2 members, either only men, only women or both.

Deadline for early registration: Thursday 2 March 2017

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Empathy and moral choices

Empathy and emotional awareness do not affect our moral decisions. This is suggested by a new study published on Social Neuroscience and led by SISSA neuroscientist Marilena Aiello. Our choices do not depend on our empathy. The difference, instead, lies in our emotional reactions, more pronounced in more empathic people. In particular if we opt for uncomfortable decisions for a greater good.

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Start Cup FVG 2017

You have time until 10 April 2017 at 12 pm to register for the business plan competition Start Cup FVG.
The initiative is open to everyone: students, graduates, entrepreneurs, natural or legal persons. The prize is 112.00,00 €.

You can register to candidate your innovative business projects through the website 
 http://www.startcupfvg.it/en/ 

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Student day returns!

SISSA Student day is back! Wednesday 8 February will be totally dedicated to youngsters, free to choose whether to visit labs, the exhibition about the story of the Universe located in SISSA 130 metre corridor or attend interactive lessons and seminars. In an informal and pleasant context, curiosity will be the students’ only guide when they explore the 40 planned activities on offer. More than 500 students from high school - coming from Friuli Venezia Giulia and other Italian regions - will participate in the third edition of the event.

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New states of matter

A laser pulse can drive materials towards new states where they acquire proprieties potentially useful for innovative microelectronics applications. This promising scientific area has been investigated by an international team headed by professor Michele Fabrizio from SISSA, Trieste, Italy, and professor Marino Marsi from Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France. The research has just been published in Nature Communications.

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PhD honoris causa to Antonio Damasio: ceremony cancelled

Unfortunately, the PhD honoris causa award ceremony planned for Tuesday 31 January 2017 in SISSA, Trieste, has been cancelled. Antonio Damasio will not be able to attend because of a sudden indisposition.


Purtroppo la cerimonia di assegnazione del PhD honoris causa al neuroscienziato Antonio Damasio, in programma martedì 31 gennaio alle ore 10 alla SISSA, è stata cancellata. Lo studioso non potrà intervenire per un'improvvisa indisposizione.

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The biological origin of the conscious mind

Consciousness is a grand symphonic piece that makes sense of the world. This analogy summarizes one of the highest achievements of Antonio Damasio, one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, who will be awarded the PhD honoris causa by SISSA, Trieste, on 31 January 2017. In his Lectio magistralis, entitled “Body and mind: homeostasis, feeling and cultures”, the Portuguese-American scientist will present some of the groundbreaking results of his career.

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Symmetries in physics

On Wednesday 18 January 2017, Elena Castellani, science philosopher and writer of the University of Florence, will give a seminar on the historical and philosophical aspects of symmetries in physics. The talk will present the historical roots of the concept of symmetry and, then, will provide an overview of the intellectual debate on  this topic. It will highlight how the issues discussed relate to more traditional themes in the philosophy of science, such as the status of the laws of nature and, more generally, the relationships between mathematics, physical theory and the world.

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Famelab 2017

Famelab is back on stage! Famelab is the international competition that challenges young scientists with a flair for communication to tell in just 3 minutes the object of their study, or a fascinating scientific topic. SISSA is one of the partners of the Trieste edition, that will take place on Wednesday 22 February 2017 at the Miela theatre from 9 a.m.. Famelab Trieste is organized by Science Centre Immaginario Scientifico in collaboration with AREA Science Park, Comune di Trieste, Università degli Studi di Trieste e Università degli Studi di Udine.

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The smell of terroir

Our nose abilities are greater than we expected. In fact, our olfactory system allows us to distinguish two wines differing for grape variety and, even, for production geographical area, a feature defined terroir by experts. This is the evidence emerged from a new research, published in the journal Food quality and preference, carried out at SISSA by Francesco Foroni, now at the Australian Catholic University, together with other scientists led by SISSA neuroscientist Raffaella Rumiati and the collaboration of the University of Padua.

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