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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.

Trieste for Le Marche

SISSA Club and Trieste Folk are pleased to announce a very special event to support the reconstruction of a cultural center in the areas affected by last fall's earthquake in Central Italy.
There will be a dance workshop, a wonderful aperitif and a night concert.

The appointment is in front of the "P. Budinich" Main Lecture Hall, SISSA, on Saturday, November 25.

The Neurobiology of Beauty

«Today we know that our experience of beauty is linked to the activities of specific parts of the brain, and there is one area located in the emotional brain activity in which always correlates with the experience of beauty. Those who speak of reductionism or simply ignore this evidence, thinking that beauty is a matter only for philosophers, connoisseurs and art historians are committing a serious mistake». 

Designing the university of the future

They come from the best scientific institutes in the world: Oxford University, America’s Princeton, Geneva’s CERN and Germany’s Max Planck. These are the members of ISAC, the International Scientific Advisory Committee, a pool of international revisers gathering world famous scientists will be spending three days at Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA). From 20th to 22nd November they will attend presentations, take part in meetings and debates and explore the institute’s research and organisation. What is their goal?

Not Only Physics

"Not Only Physics" is a series of informal meetings – not only for physicists – with former SISSA PhD students in Physics who are now employed outside academia, in major national and international companies. The two appointments are planned on 17 November and 1 December in SISSA.

Under the flag of knowledge

“This film is a tribute to good education, which is a fundamental human right. I interviewed five SISSA PhD students from all over the world to present their stories. Their experience is similar to that of many other people who, one day, decided to leave their home to improve their education. Students I interviewed have talent, they have overcome many difficulties, they have worked hard to get good results. All of them are very special people who study in very special institutes like ICTP and SISSA”. This is how Rodrigo de León Ardón comments on the video he has conceived and produced.

From field potentials to single channels

One of the core aims of Neuroscience is to discover the neurobiology underlying human health, improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of brain diseases. Modern technologies allow investigating neurobiology at the single molecule level, including transmembrane proteins such as membrane ion channels. This will be the subject of "From mV to pA, from field potentials to single channels - Thank you Andrea!”, the lecture by prof. Lucia Sivilotti from UCL, UK, that celebrates SISSA professor Andrea Nistri’s retirement.

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.

What is the h-principle?

“Flexible Mathematics, or… what is the h-principle?” is the title of SISSA new colloquium by Stanford University mathematician Yakov Eliashberg. Eliashberg is a world-renowned expert in the area of symplectic and contact topology. He was awarded the Crafoord Prize in Mathematics from the Swedish Academy of Sciences “for the development of contact and symplectic topology and groundbreaking discoveries of rigidity and flexibility phenomena”.  The colloquium will take place at SISSA Main Hall  on Tuesday 17 October starting from 5 p.m. (Image: Wikipedia)


The third edition of the National Conference on the Physics of Matter will take place at ICTP-SISSA Miramare Campus from 1 to 5 October. The Conference is organized by CNISM and CNR with the collaboration of SISSA and ICTP. Conference Chairs will be SISSA director Stefano Ruffo, Corrado Spinella from CNR and Ezio Puppin from CNISM. Topics of the event include Biophysics, Plasma Physics, Superconductivity, Nanotechnologies and Statistical Physics. (Image by Rost-9D, Istock by Getty Images)

For more information: The event website  

De Rerum Natura

Registrations for the “De Rerum Natura – Science in a click” photographic contest organised by SISSA Interdisciplinary Laboratory in partnership with Circolo Fotografico Triestino are now open. There are two themes for the third edition: “The Beauty of Nature and its Laws” and “The Soul of a City of Science: Trieste – Light and Vision”. Registration is free and open to all amateur photographers of any age or nationality. There are three prizes per category worth €500, €300 and €200 respectively and a total of six prizes.

Natural vs transformed

«It can be considered an instance of ‘embodiment’ in which our brain interacts with our body». This is the comment made by Raffaella Rumiati, neuroscientist at SISSA in Trieste, on the results of research carried out by her group which reveals that the way we process different foods changes in accordance with our body mass index. With two behavioural and electroencephalographic experiments, the study demonstrated that people of normal weight tend to associate natural foods such as apples with their sensory characteristics such as sweetness or softness.