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Battiston at SISSA: the Future of Physics

1 October 2015, 10:30

SISSA, Aula Magna “P. Budinich”

What science will be the real hotbed of discovery in the near future? According to Roberto Battiston, President of ASI, as well as prominent scientist and lecturer, there is no doubt: Astroparticle Physics. Battiston will paint a picture of the future of Physics research in the first talk of the SISSA lecture series on 1 October at 10:30 at SISSA in Trieste. The event is open to the public and will be held English. 

MHPC 2015 set to go!

Classes of the 2015/16  edition of the Master in High Performance Computing (MHPC) of SISSA/ICTP are starting today, and important news and events have been announced: in February 2016 a workshop featuring renowned guests will be held, and the Erasmus Plus partnership with the University of Ulm in Germany is confirmed, which will allow student exchanges between Italy and Germany.

Pochi giorni ancora per iscriversi

Ancora pochi giorni (fino al 29 settembre) per iscriversi alle selezioni per il nuovo biennio dello storico Master in Comunicazione della Scienza “Franco Prattico” della SISSA di Trieste. Stanno per scadere anche i termini per l’iscrizione (12 ottobre) alla “Scuola in comunicazione del rischio per la salute e per l’ambiente” della SISSA. È il momento di affrettarsi.

Modelling the helicase to understand hepatitis

NS3 is an enzyme specific to the hepatitis C virus. If developed, a drug capable of recognizing and selectively attacking it could fight the disease without side effects for the body. However, to be able to develop one we need to know more about the behaviour of this important protein in the virus replication process. Until now, we have only had some “still images” – obtained with crystallography techniques – of the interaction between the protein and the RNA, which makes the viral genome.

The Multiferroic Sandwich

Two properties are particularly sought after in materials for technology (for a variety of devices from sensors to computer memory, etc.): magnetism and ferroelectricity. Obtaining materials with both qualities is highly desirable. At the present time, these properties have shown to be almost entirely mutually exclusive, but a new study conducted by SISSA/Northwestern University introduces an innovative method which may soon become reality.  

Reading emotions in a second language

If we read about someone who is smiling and happy, without realizing it, we smile as well, and a similar reaction also occurs for the other emotions. If, however, the text is not in our mother tongue but in a second language, then our mind and body react in a blander manner. This effect, according to Francesco Foroni, the author of a new study that observed the phenomenon for the first time, may depend on the different way we learn our mother tongue and a second language. 

Protein meccano

Even fragmentary information can be used to understand which mechanical subunits make up a protein and how these move in relation to one another, with a view to establishing how the molecule carries out its functions. To this end, a SISSA research group (in collaboration with Temple University in Philadelphia) has developed a new method for the computerized analysis of the internal dynamics of molecules, demonstrating its efficiency and versatility. The study has been chosen as the cover story of the journal Structure.

Cosmological “Lost” Lithium

In old stars there is too little Lithium – 7, a primordial isotope which was created along with the universe in the first 3 minutes, and scientists do not know why. There has even been some question of whether it was a problem of the big bang theory, the theoretical framework that explains much of what we know about our Universe. A team led by SISSA (in collaboration with INAF - Astronomical Observatory of Trieste, and The University of Padua) revisited this “lithium problem”.

Salute e ambiente: comunicare il rischio

26-28 ottobre 2015,


La SISSA organizza la “Scuola in comunicazione del rischio per la salute e per l’ambiente”. Il corso è rivolto a diversi e operatori dell’informazione e permette di accedere ai crediti formativi previsti per la formazione continua dei giornalisti. Le iscrizioni si effettuano online alla pagina e resteranno aperte fino al 28 settembre alle 12.00

Nuovi docenti, più inglese e social media

Sono ancora aperte le iscrizioni al Master in Comunicazione della Scienza “Franco Prattico” (MCS) della SISSA di Trieste per il nuovo biennio 2015-2017. Intanto emergono alcune importanti anticipazioni: prima fra queste la partecipazione dello scrittore Paolo Giordano e del giornalista britannico Andy Ridgway.  È inoltre previsto un aumento delle ore di lezione in inglese e di quelle dedicate all’approfondimento dei social media. Le iscrizioni alle selezioni resteranno aperte fino al 29 settembre 2015, alle 12.00.

RNA Springs

A group of scientists at SISSA proposes a quick alternative for predicting the internal dynamics of RNA molecules (how the different parts move in relation to each other). This simple solution, which uses beads and springs, provides similar results to other, more complex and expensive techniques for analyzing molecules that are currently in use. The study was published in the journal Nucleic Acids Research.

Prion Protein Protects against Epilepsy

In the most systematic and rigorous study conducted thus far in its field, the Prion Protein ( PrPC ) was clearly shown to play a role in preventing the onset of epileptic seizures. PrPC is perhaps best known in its "degenerate" form, the prion, and an infectious agent behind dangerous neurodegenerative diseases such as Mad Cow Disease. SISSA contributed to the study, which was published in the journal Scientific Reports (Nature group).