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The body’s emotions

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that causes numerous symptoms. Among them are also several difficulties affecting the emotional domain and a deficit in perceiving other people’s emotions based on their facial expressions. Now a new study carried out with the collaboration of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste shows that also the ability to recognize emotions by reading body posture is impaired in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Actions versus objects

According to many scientists the fact that ALS patients experience (in addition to severe motor deficits) greater linguistic difficulty with verbs denoting action compared to nouns denoting objects depends on their motor deficit. The idea is that the motor system plays a role in the semantic encoding of these words. A new study conducted with the participation of SISSA has tested this hypothesis and suggests a major role for the “executive function”.

Il cuore della scienza

La senatrice a vita e scienziata Elena Cattaneo organizza una giornata per raccontare le storie positive degli scienziati rientrati nel nostro Paese. Fra gli interventi previsti presso il palazzo Giustiniani il 10 novembre a Roma c’è quello di Stefano Gustincich, professore della SISSA. L’evento è promosso dalla Armenise Harvard Foundation, l’organizzazione impegnata nel sostenere la ricerca di promettenti giovani scienziati che decidono di tornare o venire in Italia, contribuendo alla creazione di nuove aree di ricerca nel settore della biomedicina nel nostro Paese.

EU-Russia: “Year of Science”

Russian and European scientists will gather in Trieste for a conference that will address ways to strengthen the “strategic partnership” between the European Union and Russia in the fields of basic and applied science and technological transfer, acknowledged at all levels as being the “prime driver” of economic and social development. The event is part of “2014, Year of Science” announced during the 2012 EU-Russia summit, and provides an forum for exchange that will lead to major research projects.

The geometry of RNA

To understand the function of an RNA molecule, similar to the better-known DNA and vital for cell metabolism, we need to know its three-dimensional structure. Unfortunately, establishing the shape of an RNA strand is anything but easy and often requires a combination of experimental techniques and computer-based simulations. Many computing methods are used but these are often complex and slow, and vary depending on the problem at hand.

Avicenna’s lesson

6 November, 6.00 pm

Caffè Tommaseo

Piazza Nicolò Tommaseo, 4c, Trieste

“Possible Worlds and Will in Avicenna” is the title of the first meeting of the cycle “Science, literature and civic engagement” organized by the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of SISSA. Once a month, writers, scientists and scholars will meet the public to discuss different themes. The first appointment is with Sari Nusseibeh, professor of philosophy at Al Quds University in Jerusalem, who will talk about Avicenna, Persian scientist and among the greatest thinkers of all times.

How many “lives” on other planets?

5 November, 6.30 pm

Miela Theatre

Piazza Duca degli Abruzzi, 3, Trieste

The meeting “How many ‘lives’ on other planets? One, none or a hundred thousand”, a public event within the “EU-Russia Year of Science” conference, will explore what we know about the possibility of life in the Universe beyond our planet with the help of scientists. The round table will be followed, at 8.30 pm, by a screening of “District 9”, a visionary film set in a dystopian future where humans and aliens live together.

An enzyme and synaptic plasticity

Synapses are “dynamic” things: they can regulate their action in neural processes related to learning, for example, but also as a consequence of diseases. A research team – led by SISSA – has demonstrated the role of a small enzyme (Pin1) in synaptic plasticity. The study has just been published in the journal Nature Communications

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MCA: ageing towards perfection

The call for applications is now open to this year’s Master in Complex Actions at SISSA (MCA), the course that trains students to face up to the challenges of the global markets by combining management skills with leading-edge science. This year’s challenge is the ageing of the world population: how best to deal with this new global scenario and turn a problem into a resource?

“The Merry Wives of Windsor” at SISSA

October 9, 6.30 pm

SISSA, “P. Budinich” Main Lecture Hall 

Via Bonomea 265, Trieste

The Trieste University Theatre Centre (CUT) will be at SISSA to perform William Shakespeare’s comedy “The Merry Wives of Windsor”. The appointment is for Thursday 9 October at 6.30 pm in the “P. Budinich” Main Lecture Hall; the event is free and open to the public. The show is the first of a short series of theatrical events offered by SISSA to its students, teachers, and staff as well as to the general public, all of which will take place at SISSA during the autumn. 

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