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Alla scoperta della struttura dell'RNA

Nella famiglia degli acidi nucleici è il parente meno noto, soppiantato nella popolarità del cugino DNA. Eppure l’RNA, o acido ribonucleico, ha un ruolo fondamentale in moltissimi processi biologici: non solo come molecola messaggero il cui compito è quello di trasmettere le informazioni genetiche dal nucleo al citoplasma per la produzione delle proteine, ma anche come protagonista di...

Destrimani o mancini?

Destrimani o mancini si nasce o si diventa? Uno studio guidato dalla ricercatrice Valentina Parma della Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati - SISSA di Trieste e dal professor Umberto Castiello dell’Università di Padova, appena pubblicato su Scientific Reports, dimostra che la dominanza manuale è in realtà già ben definita alla diciottesima settimana gestazionale. Analizzando le caratteristiche di alcuni movimenti fetali, gli studiosi hanno saputo prevedere con grande accuratezza la preferenza motoria osservata negli stessi bambini e bambine all’età di nove anni.

Paired mutations to discover the shape of proteins

It is a bit like business partners: if one of the two parties changes strategy – voluntarily or otherwise – to keep the business going, the other  has to adapt in turn. The leap from business ventures to the structure of proteins might seem a little bold. Yet, this concept of “balanced changes” is precisely the guiding principle of an important new study that just appeared in PNAS, the journal of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.

Studying heat transfer with supercomputers

“Our goal? To radically innovate numerical simulations in the field of thermal transport to take on the great science and technology issues in which this phenomenon is so central. This new study, which has designed a new method with which to analyse heat transfer data more efficiently and accurately, is an important step in this direction”. This is how Stefano Baroni describes this new research performed at Trieste’s SISSA by a group led by him, which has just been published in the Scientific Reports journal.

Laser beams for superconductivity

A laser pulse, a special material, an extraordinary property which appears inexplicably. These are the main elements that emerge from a research conducted by an international team, coordinated by Michele Fabrizio and comprising Andrea Nava and Erio Tosatti from SISSA, Claudio Giannetti from the Università Cattolica di Brescia and Antoine Georges of from the Collège de France. The results of their study have recently been published in the journal Nature Physics.

The nose reveals our relationship with emotions

Do you express your emotions? Are you able to name them, talk about them, relate to your feelings? If your answer is not an unqualified yes, you might be among the 10 percent of the healthy population who has difficulty processing the emotions they experience: a psychological condition known as alexithymia. An alexithymic individual has difficulty, to a greater or lesser degree, in relating to the sensations – ranging from joy to fear, from disgust to anger – which make up our experience.