BLOG

contributors: Luca Nicola and Paolo Rossi Castelli
Read More
2018.11.14-shutterstock_720981232

Microalgae to carry drugs inside our bodies

For some time bioengineers all over the world have been trying to find a way to deliver drugs to desired points inside our bodies, and to these points only (without damaging surrounding tissue) - areas which perhaps are also difficult...

Read More
Read More
2018.11.07-img-orecchio

And that is how the ear can “regenerate” hearing

A study conducted by researchers from the Universities of Rochdale and Harvard (USA) is offering new hope to people that have lost their hearing following the deterioration of the sensory hair cells of the cochlea.

Read More
Read More
Bacteria and virus seamless pattern inversion

The map of microbial “dark matter”

In additional to cosmic dark matter, there is also another kind of dark matter that surrounds each and every one of us: that made up of bacteria and micro-organisms outside the human body.

Read More
Read More
2018.10.31-guanti-mano_virtuale-2

New gloves for “grasping” virtual objects

Bioengineers from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL),  in collaboration with colleagues from the ETH of Zurich and Microcity (the research center in Neuchâtel dedicated to innovation), have developed an ultrathin glove that let users “touch” objects created through...

Read More
Read More
yuval-harari

The true secret of homo sapiens

What are we better at compared to other species on Earth? This is the question that Yuval Harari asks himself, and the answers that he offers us are really interesting.

Read More
Read More
forumibsalugano13ott201820181015_0137

Scientific views on migration: 11 important considerations arising from the Forum

On 13 October 2018 an original experiment was carried out in Lugano with the Forum “Scientific Views on Migration”: a current hot topic was taken and tackled from a scientific angle. Hence, an attempt was made to correctly reposition the...

Read More
Read More
James Beacham

The job of a physicist? To explore unanswered questions

“There is something about physics that has been really bothering me since I was a little kid. And it's related to a question that scientists have been asking for almost 100 years, with no answer. How do the smallest things...

Read More
Read More
2018.09.28-shutterstock

Do too many detergents contribute to childhood obesity?

Our obsession with domestic hygiene, promoted through increasingly intensive advertisements, could be detrimental to children’s health, because – according to a study published in the Canadian Medial Association Journal – they alter intestinal bacteria (microbiome) and, hence, children’s metabolism. The...

Read More
Read More
2018.09.26-shutterstock

Human bone stem cells (finally) found

After many years of frustrating studies, a team of researchers and surgeons from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis (USA) has been successful in an endeavour that could have a major impact in the clinical field: it has identified and...

Read More
Read More
2018.09.24-img-post-kuhn

Kuhn: paradigms and revolutions in scientific development

In his most famous work “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” (1962 and 1969), the philosopher Thomans Kuhn analyzes the history of science and its various implications in all areas of research. According to Kuhn’s vision, scientific development is made up...

Read More
Read More
2018.09.21-shutterstock

Are there signs of the risk of Alzheimer’s in the back of the eye?

An examination of the back of the eye, together with an angiography of the vessels of the retina, could help to diagnose Alzheimer’s long before the appearance of clinical symptoms. This is suggested by a study published in the journal...

Read More
Read More
2018.09.19-immagine

Even the intestine produces electrical energy

The bacteria that populate our intestine (microbioma) never cease to amaze: a group of researchers from the University of Berkeley, California (USA), has just discovered that many of these microorganisms are able to generate electricity (albeit very weak), just like...

Read More
Read More
frans-lanting

Life: a journey through time

Nature's my muse and it's been my passion. As a photographer for National Geographic, I've portrayed it for many. But five years ago, I went on a personal journey. I wanted to visualize the story of life. It's the hardest...

Read More
Read More
pillole-su-tavolo-lucido-e-nero-low

8.000 new antibiotic combinations to fight bacteria

Pending the discovery of completely new antibiotics, a study has emerged from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA, United States) that could offer an effective – and sometimes very effective – solution to infections that today are difficult to...

Read More
Read More
2018.09.12-img-post-blog

New “strategy” for repairing spinal cord injuries

A study set up from the collaboration between the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne and the University of California, Los Angeles campus, has led to a result that could represent a significant step forward in the treatment of spinal injuries,...

Read More
Read More
popper-orizz.

Popper’s critical rationalism

“Avoiding mistakes is a narrow-minded ideal. If we don’t dare face those challenges that are so difficult as to make the error almost inevitable, knowledge will not be developed. It is from our more daring theories, including those that are...

Read More
Read More
2018.09.07-img-post-blog

“Revolution” for the universal flu vaccine

We are getting closer to the possibility of creating a universal vaccine against all (or almost all) the possible forms of influenza, without the need to “chase” the variants of the virus every year. This announcement, which was made in...

Read More
Read More
2018.09.05-img-per-post-prc

Ultra-thin nervous “tissue” for treating eye problems

There is new hope in the treatment of serious eye diseases thanks to a new type of artificial retina developed by researchers in the Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Texas, Austin campus (the retina, remember,...

Read More
Read More
ted-beau-lotto

A look at how our brain works

In this memorable TED Conference, the neuroscientist Beau Lotto tackles a very important subject. As science and philosophy has taught us for centuries, seeing “things as they are” - the reality before our eyes for what it really is -...

Read More
Read More
tubercolosis

Does antitubercular vaccine work against diabetes?

An old tuberculosis vaccine, developed in the 20s of the last century by the bacteriologist Albert Calmette and the vet Camille Guérin (both French researchers at the Pasteur Institute of Lille), continues to reserve surprises. Rediscovered as a powerful stimulant...

Read More
Read More
schermata-2018-08-23-alle-15.45.09

A new look on evolution

To understand the human evolution on Earth should we study monkeys? No, fishes. The biologist Prosanta Chakrabarty explains it in this brilliant 5-minute lesson, which dispels some myths linked to evolution, encouraging us to remember that we are a small...

Read More
Read More
spugne-marine

Within marine sponges new antibacterial substances

The solution to one of the big issues of world health, i.e. the growing resistance to antibiotics by many types of bacteria, may also come from the sea and, specifically, from sponges. Researchers of the Florida Atlantic University (US) are...

Read More
Read More
regrowth-credit-kings-college-london

New gene therapy to restore hand function

A new hope for recovery of hands functionality after a spinal cord injury comes from researchers at King’s College London, who have described in the journal Brain the good results obtained in lab animals, thanks to a particular type of...

Read More
Read More
schermata-2018-08-22-alle-17.40.13

Consciousness, the most mysterious universal phenomenon

Consciousness is that something making life worth living. If we were not conscious, nothing in our lives would have a meaning or a value. Why are we conscious? So far nobody knows the answer to this query. But as the...

Read More
Read More
ape

Discovered 27 unknown infecting bees viruses

An international team of researchers has identified 27 types of viruses, hitherto unknown, that infect bees (the results of the study were published in the journal Scientific Reports, belonging to Nature group). This discovery, technicians say, will allow bettering understanding...

Read More
Read More
luciano-floridi

The internet of things explained by a philosopher

We hear more and more about the Internet of Things. What is it? Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at Oxford University, explains it to us in this video: we started to record data, then making them...

Read More
Read More
sem_16x9

Recreate the intestine? You can, thanks (also) to a spring

Recreate in the lab animal, or even human organs (or parts of them), similar to those present inside the body, to better study diseases and possible treatments, or for the future, revolutionary transplants: it may seem science fiction, also with...

Read More
Read More
ted

A sound will tell us whether the cell is healthy

Dario Polli is a Professor of Physics at the Politecnico di Milano who develops new laser systems to vibrate the molecules: we could say that he is a kind of molecular musician. What is the reason for this interest? Simple,...

Read More
Read More
prione-umano

For the first time, a lab-created human prion

Do you remember the mad cow syndrome and especially its human version, Creutzfeldt Jakob’s disease? After the emergencies of about twenty years ago, we do not hear about it anymore. Yet these types of diseases, triggered by prions (that is, by altered...

Read More
Read More
oceano

Sea waves? They “throw” viruses and bacteria

For several decades, between 1800 and 1900, one of the popular therapies more or less for any illness envisaged exposure to sea air, without any supporting scientific prerequisite. Now, however, a study published in the scientific journal Nature Communications by...

Read More
Read More
mit-auditory-model_0

The first artificial intelligence that knows how to listen like a human being

Researchers at MIT have created the first artificial neuronal network that can recognize sounds like a human ear. Notably, scientists focused on two auditory tasks: speech and music. Their model has “trained” with thousands of two-second clips containing words spoken...

Read More
Read More
desert

How to extract water from desert air

Is it possible to collect water directly from air in the planet most arid places, to at least partially compensate for water scarcity, imitating the “strategies” of survival of cacti and other succulents? Yes, according to researchers at the Department...

Read More
Read More
intelligenza-artificiale

Establishment of EU ethical guidelines for the use of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming the focus of attention of political institutions. Its implications and how to drive innovation forward was discussed recently at the G7 summit held in Charlevoix in Canada, and the EU Commission has just appointed a...

Read More
Read More
blood-18134101280

Out of Cambridge, the super-map of proteins in human blood

Thanks to innovative technology, researchers from the University of Cambridge (Great Britain), together with colleagues from other international institutions, have managed to create a detailed genetic map of the proteins founds in plasma, i.e. in the liquid part of blood:...

Read More
Read More
schermata-2018-07-12-alle-10.30.16

A semi-transparent film transforms solar energy into electricity

It is customary to see classic silicone solar panels on roofs and the sides of buildings. However, in order to exploit the potential of curved surfaces and tensile structures, today we can use organic photovoltaics, made from compounds dissolved in...

Read More
Read More
mit-wireless-charging-02_0

Even the “devices” implanted in our bodies are wireless

The number of medical devices that can be implanted into the human body is constantly increasing (other than classic cardiac pacemakers, insulin sensors, electrodes for deep brain stimulation and many others), but they all have a weak point: the need...

Read More
Read More
schermata-2018-07-12-alle-10.56.48

The healing power of mathematics

Her name is Irina Kareva and she is a young scientist that uses mathematical models applied to biology and, in particular, to the development of anti-cancer drugs. Her research has great potential: mathematical modelling can be very helpful for answering...

Read More
Read More
sairaala

Hospital infections, the “tricks” of the superbugs

Hospital infections caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics are a reason for great worry for international health authorities, and cause several thousand deaths every year worldwide. But now a study by researchers in the Department of Chemistry of the University...

Read More
Read More
diamanti

Diamonds can be bent too

Very small synthetic diamonds are also bendable and this flexibility opens the doors to countless new applications in the field of optics, physics and engineering. Bendable diamonds were created by a multidisciplinary team involving the carbon research centers of the...

Read More
Read More
musica

How do we listen to music? Does it depends on our biases?

It is 2007 Joshua Bell, an internationally-renowned violinist, started to play with a Stradivarius in the Washington underground. And no one stopped to listen to him. Why? It is simple – we evaluate a music performance based on our biases....

Read More
Read More
researchers_web

Origami-style models for the cultivation of bone cells

Inspired by the ancient Japanese art of origami of folding paper into miniature shapes and figures, bioengineers in Lowell, University del Massachusetts (USA), under the guidance of Gulden Camci Unal, have developed a “platform” for the regeneration of biological tissue,...

Read More
Read More
Saunalahti school

The school of the future? Without subjects

According to the OECD, for several years the Finnish have held the title of the best education system in the world. However, they do not want to rest on their laurels. And they are thinking of overcoming the old concept...

Read More
Read More
finger_16x9

Does dopamine (produced by the brain) cure diabetes?

The patient zero was a 53-year old Dutch man, victim of a serious obsessive-compulsive disorder, who had accepted to be treated with an extreme, invasive therapy that also often solved the problem: the implantation of thin electrodes in his brain...

Read More
Read More
new-tissue

A new gel repairs stroke damage (in animals)

For the first time a gel, injected directly into the brain, has shown that it is capable of regenerating cells in the nervous system damaged as the result of a stroke. For now the result has only been achieved on...

Read More
Read More
0a5a1098-1024x683

Armin Linke at “La Scienza a Regola d’Arte”

“The task of art is also to highlight the limitations of our development model and the negative effects that unfortunately has sometimes produced. In this sense photography can be a very effective way to start a dialogue, without being content...

Read More
Read More
molecole-chimiche

“Left” and “right” molecules: this is how they can be divided

Chemical molecules have an orientation in space: they can be directed to the left or the right, taking on two opposite forms from one another. In the majority of cases these two forms are both present and, often, have different...

Read More
Read More
safe_image

Sound waves to measure toxic substances in water

Researchers from the Ciencias Fisicas Institute of the Universidad Autonoma de Maexico (UNAM), in Cuernavaca, have discovered that the use of sound waves to “levitate” droplets of water in air makes it possible to accurately identify possible toxic substances, like...

Read More
Read More
image

Avalanches, electronic mini-sensor for finding people

A very small electronic sensor developed by engineers in the ETH in Zurich can effectively help rescuers searching for people trapped under avalanches or under collapsed housing following an earthquake. In these situations dogs are often used due to their...

Read More
Read More
0a5a1107-1024x683

PAOLO CORTINI AT “LA SCIENZA A REGOLA D’ARTE”

“The earth is 4.6 billion years old, man arrived at most 200 thousand years ago. We must realize that for our planet man is just a blink of an eye in his long history. We should look at nature without...

Read More
Read More
a-guanto

A resonance glove to “see” hand problems

A special glove that, literally, sees the tendons, muscles and ligaments of the hand moving and interacting with bones: the prototype, developed by researchers from the New York University School of Medicine (USA), is a progression of normal magnetic resonance...

Read More
Read More
mattzamberlan-1280x720

One on Everest, one at home: the DNA of two twins changes

What happens to the body when it is subjected to extreme conditions like those of the high mountains? How does the expression of the genetic code change, if it indeed changes? To understand this, researchers from the Weill Cornell Medicine...

Read More
Read More
Alberto Nessi

Artist’s word – Alberto Nessi

Yesterday’s meeting “La Scienza a regola d’arte” started with the reading by Igor Horvat of this poem by the Ticino writer Alberto Nessi: Pomeriggio di settembre Sono con te, cammino col tuo passo cammino con le zampe delle felci con...

Read More
Read More
insetti

Hyper-fast little animals? A model for robots

Robots, including even the most sophisticated ones, have never managed to be ultra-rapid, and have never even come close to reaching the “snap action” of the fastest living beings, which – as it is well-known – are also the smallest....

Read More
Read More
fellowshipibsa2017_62

The IBSA Foundation researchers: Ruth speaking

Her name is Ruth Egbe and studies how to develop effective pain relief after surgery. His research will be useful to alleviate the post-operative course for patients after the wisdom tooth extraction, for which he won one of the five...

Read More
Read More
tank_16x9

The project to create anti-virus supercells gets underway

Launched on the pages of the journal Science and with a presentation organized recently in Boston (USA), the GP-write (Genome Project-write) project is now getting down to specifics: a very ambitious (and controversial) initiative, which was announced in 2016, but that...

Read More
Read More
IBSA Foundation

Even a crocodile’s brain reacts to music

Crocodiles (from the Nile, in this case) react to music like mammals and birds in a very similar way by stimulating the same areas of the brain. This helps shed light on the process of evolution, since having existed for...

Read More
Read More
a-3d_printing_on_hand

Mini 3D printer creates electronic circuits directly on the skin

The evolution of the 3D printer is an object that, according to its inventor, Michael McAlpine of the University ofl Minnesota (USA), can fit in your pocket like a Swiss army knife and, if necessary, can use skin (of the...

Read More
Read More
fellowshipibsa2017_74

The IBSA Foundation researchers: Mauro speaking

His name is Mauro Cozzolino and he studies are focused on fertility. His research aims at stimulating the “dormant” follicles left in the ovarian reserve that can be recovered to produce fertilizing oocytes. Thanks to his research, which will be useful...

Read More
Read More
a-dna

DNA? In some points it has a newly discovered knot shape

As explained in biology books, the genetic code known as DNA present in every cell forms an elegant double spiral, or double helix shape. But beyond this classic, largely predominant shape, there are also others which can form temporarily. One...

Read More
Read More
artificial leaf for organic synthesis

Artificial leaf produces medicines with sunlight

A miniature medicine factory, but potentially also of many other chemical compounds, in the form of a leaf, created at minimal cost and powered by sunlight, seems too good to be true. Nevertheless, researchers from the Eindhoven University of Technology,...

Read More
Read More
a-injectable-alcohol-sensor-1

Chip implants for monitoring blood alcohol levels

People who are trying to combat alcohol addiction will be able to find help with a chip created by bioengineers at the  University of California in the United States. The experimental prototype was presented at the “Custom Integrated Circuits Conference”...

Read More
Read More
S.Bencivelli at TEDXSiena

Science and journalism: Silvia’s formula

In this video Silvia Bencivelli explains the difficulty of those, like herself, who explain science. We have to consider that science is a concept which is a bit more complex than one which can give us a simple true/false answer,...

Read More
Read More
Liver

Transplanting a liver? Better to keep it warm

An about-face: livers to be transplanted should not be kept cold, as has been done for many years, but warm, at a temperature of 37 degrees. The damage which is done by keeping the organ at a body temperature is...

Read More
Read More
fellowshipibsa2017_59

The IBSA Foundation researchers: Carlotta speaking

Her name is Carlotta Perucca Orfei and her project aims to study the potential of therapies based on the use of secretoma of mesenchymal cells for the treatment of chronic tendinopathies. Her research, carried out in cooperation with University of Miami,...

Read More
Read More
a-zach-portrait-stensola-2017

Can artificial intelligence become depressed?

Can even artificial intelligence suffer from depression, or experience hallucinations, like the human brain? The question is much less odd than it might seem, according to Zachary Mainen, a neuroscientist at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, a neuroscience and...

Read More
Read More
esoscheletro

Robotic belts for treating scoliosis

Congenital deformities of the spine, like idiopathic scoliosis and pathologic kyphosis, will be able to be corrected in a personalized and more efficient way thanks to a flexible robotic exoskeleton that the bioengineers at the Columbia University School of Engineering...

Read More
Read More
fellowshipibsa2017_72

The IBSA Foundation researchers: Fabio speaking

His name is Fabio Maino and he is specialised in endocrinology. His research si focused on a new therapy combining T3 and T4 hormones aimed at resolving the symptoms of hypothyroidism. This could improve the quality of life in thyroidectomised patients....

Read More
Read More
nanoZymes

Light is used to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria

They are celled NanoZymes, artificial enzymes which could provide important help in the battle against antibiotic resistant infections. Researchers from several Australian universities collaborated in developing these remarkable enzymes and published their results in the scientific journal Applied Nano Materials....

Read More
Read More
mano-neo

If a mole could help us find tumours?

A research study carried out by the Federal Polytechnic of Zurich (ETH) in Basel, could provide important news in the field of tumor prevention thanks to the application of a biomedical tattoo which resembles a mole. After implantation under the...

Read More
Read More
fellowshipibsa2017_68

The IBSA Foundation researchers: Daniela speaking

Her name is Daniela Gnani and he studies epigenetics, a branch of molecular biology that investigates genetic mutations and the transmission of inherited traits not directly attributable to the DNA sequence, but to the interaction of individuals with the surrounding...

Read More
Read More
team

Computers? As good as humans in creating new molecules

We hear more and more talk about artificial intelligence (AI), and sometimes with concern, for the fear that this type of technology could undermine the human capacity for achievement or even take it over. But a study published by a...

Read More
Read More
schermo-lcd

New liquid crystal screens as thin as paper

Optoelectronic engineers from the universities of Hong Kong and Shanghai have succeeded in creating a special liquid crystal display (LCD) which is paper-thin, flexible, light, durable and very inexpensive at about 5 dollars for a 5-inch screen, or roughly 12.7...

Read More
Read More
tatoo

The immune system helps tattoos to resister

How do tattoos remain for decades on the skin, while the cells that “contain” them (which hold the colored pigments) have a much shorter life and die? Researchers have been searching for an explanation for years, but now a possible...

Read More
Read More
img-ls-5

Perhaps not everyone knows that…

There is an historic link between comics and immunology: in a story at the beginning of the 1960s, the legendary Flash Gordon becomes seriously ill.

Read More
Read More
img-ls-3

Fake news is as old as time

Fake news is as old as time and dates back to well before the Internet.

Read More
Read More
img-ls-2

Telling the story of science through comics

How can you tell the story of science through comics?

Read More
Read More
img-ls-1

LET’S SCIENCE: 8 common sense rules for surviving fake news on the internet.

According to the scientific journalist Gianluca Dotti, a specialist in uncovering scientific fake news, there are several precautions that we should take every time that we encounter a piece of news (especially if it is shocking) on social media.

Read More

CONTRIBUTORS

Paolo Rossi Castelli
Journalist since 1983, has been dealing with scientific divulgation for years, especially in the fields of medicine and biology. Creator of Sportello Cancro, the site created by corriere.it on oncology, in collaboration with the Umberto Veronesi Foundation. He collaborated with the pages of the Science of Corriere della Sera and with Sette for several years, before becoming editor-in-chief of the monthly Ok Salute. He was one of the authors of the Time Machine, Network 4 program conducted by Alessandro Cecchi Paone on nature, environment, science and history, and worked as a consultant for several Mediaset productions. He was a scientific advisor to DeA Sapere, the issuer of De Agostini broadcast on Sky, news director for the SaluteBenessere channel, of the sole 24 Ore Group, and author for SeiMilano, an experimental channel owned by the Benetton Group. He is currently President of the Lugano Science Foundation.