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Lithuania – Vilnius Science Festival with 5 famed Italian experts

Five noted Italian experts will take part in the Science Festival “Spaceship Earth” in Vilnius on Sept. 8-17. Chiara Zuccato, Eugenio Coccia, Giuseppe Novelli, Giorgio Metta, and Fiorenzo Conti will hold a series of lectures at the event, now at its 13th edition. The first lecture, “Brain evolution and neurological disorders: the example of Huntington’s Disease”, will be delivered by Prof. Zuccato on Sept. 12, with simultaneous translation into Lithuanian. An associate professor at the University of Milan’s Department of Bioscience, Prof. Zuccato has worked on the inherited neurodegenerative disease known as Huntington’s disease since 1999 and has acted as scientific advisor to the Associazione italiana malattia di Huntington (Italian Association of Huntington’s Disease – AICH) in Milan since 2008, also devoting herself to providing support to the patients’ families.

Prof. Coccia, an experimental physicist who co-discovered gravitational waves and has focused on the topic since graduating in 1980 under Edoardo Amaldi and Guido Pizzella, will deliver the lecture “Storia della ricerca delle onde gravitazionali” (History of the Search for Gravitational Waves) on Sept. 14. He has been a tenured Physics Professor at “Tor Vergata” University in Rome since 2000, and was director of the Gran Sasso National Laboratory of Italy’s National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) from 2003 to 2009. He led experiments on the Explorer gravitational wave detector at CERN from 1998 to 2010 and on the Nautilus detector at the INFN’s laboratories in Frascati. Since 2006, he has been participating in the experiments with the Virgo gravitational wave interferometer in Pisa.

A second lecture entitled “DNA is Life. Tutto il resto e’ un dettaglio” (Everything else is a Detail) will also be held on Sept. 14 by world-class geneticist Giuseppe Novelli, rector of “Tor Vergata” University and head of its Human Genetics Research Unit. Novelli’s research has focused on mapping, identifying, and characterising genes implicated in human diseases.

The following day will include the presentation of “iCub project: an open platform for research in robotics and AI”, featuring a 104 cm-tall humanoid robot created for the purpose of artificial intelligence research, and the meeting “La scienza e’ servita: la fisiologia del gusto” (Science is Served: the Physiology of Taste). The latter will be held by Fiorenzo Conti, who will illustrate the recent neuroscientific discoveries in the field. The lectures have been organised by the Italian Cultural Institute in Vilnius in collaboration with Mokslo Festivalis.