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Bats use maps

14 Marzo 2014

Nachum Ulanovsky

March 31, 2014 - 12 am

SISSA, Main Lecture Hall

Via Bonomea, 265 - Trieste

Studying the echolocation mechanisms of bats, scientists have discovered how two- and three-dimensional spatial maps are formed in their brain.

(Not too) few but capable

20 Marzo 2014

Small changes in a population may lead to dramatic consequences, like the disappearance of the migratory route of a species. A study carried out in collaboration with the SISSA has created a model of the behaviour of a group of individuals on the move (like a school of fish, a herd of sheep or a flock of birds, etc.) which, by changing a few simple parameters, reproduces the collective behaviour patterns observed in the wild.

It looks like rubber but isn’t

21 Marzo 2014

Researchers at SISSA are developing fast and efficient numerical methods to study the behaviour of molecules and materials. The latest work by Angelo Rosa, published in the journal Physical Review Letters, simulated the behaviour of concentrated solutions of "circular" polymers, providing a far more accurate description of the behaviour of these materials than available in the past.

One gene, many tissues

27 Marzo 2014

A map of how genes vary in biological tissues: a huge project that required the collaboration of dozens of laboratories worldwide, including the Neurogenomics Laboratory of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste.

This is the result of a study just published in Nature by the FANTOM consortium (and signed by over two hundred authors). It is only the first of a series of more specific papers that will focus on how the single genes work in each type of tissue.

Universal syllables

01 Aprile 2014

Languages are learned, it's true, but are there also innate bases in the structure of language that precede experience? Linguists have noticed that, despite the huge variability of human languages, there are some preferences in the sound of words that can be found across languages.

So they wonder whether this reflects the existence of a universal, innate biological basis of language. A SISSA study provides evidence to support to this hypothesis, demonstrating that certain preferences in the sound of words are already active in newborn infants.