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The brain’s RAM

Thousands of times a day, the brain stores sensory information for very short periods of time in a working memory, to be able to use it later. A research study carried out with the collaboration of SISSA has shown, for the first time, that this function also exists in the brain of rodents, a finding that sheds light on the evolutionary origins of this cognitive mechanism.

Molecules as circuits

The progressive miniaturization of electronic devices requires the creation of increasingly small circuits. With traditional technology, this miniaturization is hampered by the limits imposed by physics, but some have thought of using molecules as circuits.

If molecules are to be able to do this efficiently, they need to improve their poor conduction ability. In a study published in PNAS, a team of researchers featuring Ryan Requist, Erio Tosatti and Michele Fabrizio of SISSA shows how the Kondo effect can improve the conductivity of some magnetic molecules.

Nanofriction on the tip of the microscope

A research paper published in the journal Nature Materials, the result of the collaboration between a group of theoretical physicists from the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste and a group of experimental physicists from the University of Basel, reveals the secrets of the nanofriction produced when an atomic force microscope observes the surface of certain materials.

Viral puzzles

The genome of viruses is usually enclosed inside a shell called capsid. Capsids have unique mechanic properties: they have to be resistant and at the same time capable of dissolving in order to release the genome into the infected cell.

The scientists of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) of Trieste have coordinated a study on the mechanic properties of viruses that have improved their understanding, so much that they were able to make conjectures on the behavior of still little-known viruses

SISSA Welcome Day: focussing on students

November 20th 2013 

From 9.30 AM onwards

SISSA, Main Lecture Hall

Once again this year, Sissa hosted the traditional Welcome Day to welcome new students and publicly present its activities. The event provided an opportunity to make an assessment of the past year's work, to award a number of students and staff members for their achievements and to introduce the latest projects, like this year's Sissa Carpooling. 

Farewell to the father of Trieste City of Science

Paolo Budinich, founder of SISSA and creator of the "Trieste System", which made the city a centre of excellence in the international science scene as well as an important beacon for science education in developing countries, died on November 14, 2013. SISSA, the International School for Advanced Studies pays tribute to this great man, who will also be celebrated on the occasion of the Welcome Day, the annual public event to welcome new students, which will be held on November 20.

Tidy knots are faster

The key pathway by which viruses "attack" consists in releasing viral DNA into the infected cell, taking over the host cell's transcription mechanisms and using them to reproduce itself.

In order to fight or exploit to our benefit the action of viruses, scientists are trying to understand this process in detail. A group of researchers – one of whom from SISSA – has studied the timescale of DNA "ejection" (how long it takes and what is the precise sequence of events), and found that it depends on the degree and manner of entanglement of the double strand of DNA inside the virus.

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