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The Components of Imitation

We learn many things through imitation: how to walk, play an instument, sports, and even more. What are the processes in the brain responsible for imitation? For some years now, science has been examining the role of mirror neurons, but there is still much to understand. One study focusing on neurological patients showed that at least two components are involved in imitating gestures, each from a different hemisphere of the brain. The study, which SISSA participated in, was published in Neuropsychologia.

“Metal” drugs to fight cancer

What is the mechanism of action of metal-based chemotherapy drugs (the most widely used for treating common cancers like testicular or ovarian cancer)? How can we improve their effect and reduce their toxicity? A new study combining experiments and theory has broadened our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of these active drugs to help experimentalists devising increasingly effective drugs with fewer side effects. The study, just published in the journal ChemMedChem, was conducted with the participation of International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste.

Prions Made in SISSA

At times, to understand something well, it is useful to rebuild  it from scratch.  It happens with prions as well: in collaboration with the BESTA Institute in Milan, the Laboratory of Prion Biology at SISSA in Trieste assembled artificial prions, devising a method for synthesizing them in a series. Lab tests showed that synthetic prions act like their biological counterparts. Results will be published on December 31 in one of the most respected journals in the industry, Plos Pathogens.

Brain plasticity from A to Z

The December issue of the journal Current Opinion in Neurobiology reviews current knowledge about brain plasticity, in its broadest sense, starting from the infinitely small (plasticity at the molecular level, in synapses) up to the macro level (the plasticity observable in human behaviour). Alessandro Treves (SISSA) and Thomas Mrsic-Flogel (University of Basel) have edited this issue involving some of the leading international experts in the field.

Better catalysts for green energy

Catalysts play a major role in the field of technology applied to renewable energy. A new study, just published in Nature Materials, provides a detailed account of how to control the electron charge of nanoparticles of platinum, an important catalyst in fuel cells, to maximize the efficiency of the process. The study is the result of an intense international collaboration involving SISSA and CNR-IOM of Trieste, the University of Barcelona, ELETTRA Sincrotrone Trieste, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany and Univerzita Karlova of Prague. 

Premiazione del concorso De Rerum Natura

9 dicembre 2015, 14.00

SISSA, Aula Magna “P. Budinich”

Il 9 dicembre alle 14.00, presso l’Aula Magna della SISSA, avranno luogo le premiazioni della seconda edizione del concorso fotografico “De Rerum Natura” promosso dal Laboratorio Interdisciplinare della SISSA. Nella stessa occasione ci sarà anche un intervento di Massimo Inguscio, direttore dell’Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRIM) di Torino, dal titolo Light, Atoms and Time. La partecipazione all’evento è gratuita  e aperta  a tutti. L’intervento di Inguscio si terrà in inglese. 

A bridge with Iran

SISSA and Sharif University of Technology of Tehran come closer: a Memorandum of Understanding has just been signed that strengthens bonds between the two universities and launches a series of actions aiming at intensifying their scientific collaboration. 

DOWNLOAD > Press release

Keeping Emotions Under Control

Childhood and adolescence are ages of constant change and crucial experiences. At times the emotional weight can be difficult to manage and may lead to psychological issues in adulthood. Neurofeedback is a method that helps individuals to keep their brain activity (for example a response to an emotional event) under control. While routinely used on adults, a new study published in NeuroImage demonstrates that the technique shows promise for young people as well. 

“Disorder is almost sure” for Welcome Day

December 1, 2015, 9.30 am-12.15 am

SISSA, Main Lecture Hall

Every year, the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste welcomes new students. This year, along with introducing the Director, fellow students, and scientists, there will be several awards given (including the Bassoli Prize for Science Communication) and the lectio magistralis on chaos  by Laure Saint-Raymond, a French mathematician.

Le “giornate triestine” della SISSA

Nelle prossime settimane si terrà un nuovo ciclo di appuntamenti organizzati dal Laboratorio Interdisciplinare della SISSA, in collaborazione con il Comune di Trieste Attraverso la fotografia, il giornalismo e i romanzi gialli, tre personaggi di spicco della cultura triestina (Ugo Borsatti, Roberto Curci e Veit Heinechen) racconteranno la storia della città dal loro speciale punto di vista. Tutti gli eventi sono gratuiti e aperti al pubblico.

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