Hope for peace inspired by nature

By Micaela Gliozzi, Catherine Belzung, Stefania Papa and Susana Rebelo Nature often appears governed by competition, where only the strongest survive and thrive. However, it also abounds with cooperation, sharing, mutual help, and giving as previous posts of our blog highlighted. During this sad moment of European and World history, the negative aspects of the…

Bonding space, time and starlight

By Gabriel Ferrero “‘In this phial,’ she said, ‘is caught the light of Eärendil’s star, set amid the waters of my fountain. It will shine still brighter when night is about you. May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.’ “1 These unforgettable words, that J.R.R. Tolkien…

Learning from a negative example

By Zsuzsa Román Today we hear the shocking news of the war in Ukraine, but there are many more military conflicts in the world, including those of Yemen, Syria and Ethiopia. As a result, let us now take a look at war, at the effects of its dark pages of history! The phenomenon of war…

Fire, a gift from the gods

By Antonino Puglisi From the moment when early humans started to control and master fire, i.e., around 1.5 million years ago, the course of our history was changed forever. Fire has turned us from being hunted into hunters. It is through fire that we gradually became warriors, builders and explorers.  No other tool in human…

A brain wired to find a purpose in life

By Valquiria Gonҫalves de Oliveira and Ornella Valenti The pandemic took us by surprise and turned our lives upside down, bringing with it a huge emotional burden, trauma and uncertainty for the future. And yet, never before has the word resilience, the ability to cope with negative emotions and to look to the future with…

Two teams of proteins holding our cells together

By Micaela Gliozzi The extracellular matrix is a large network of proteins and molecules that surround, support, and give structure to cells and tissues in the human body. In addition to its structural function, it facilitates the communication among cells, promoting their growth, movement and other functions that require mutual cooperation within a cell network. To ensure…

Color as constructed relationality

By Ján Morovič and Peter Morovič Our visual experiences result from complex relationships among the signals from our eyes’ light-sensitive cells. What we see are relationships among the different parts of our environment, as opposed to those parts individually. For example, the way an apple looks does not depend only on how our eyes respond…

Homeostasis: the essence of life

By Catherine Belzung A fundamental characteristic of all living systems is that they are so-called open systems, that is, systems that have exchanges with the external environment, giving each other energy and matter. Thus, these systems are in continuous communication with the outside world, and therefore can be influenced by it. Despite this characteristic, living…

Units of measurement

By Lucian Pasieka There are many things in everyday life that we “measure”. For example, we hold a ruler to an object and say: “This is about 20 cm long,” i.e., we compare it to a reference. Measuring is considered one of the foundations of modern civilisation as it is needed in many domains. Often,…

Green spaces

By Zsuzsa Román In our blog we seek to express the thousands of nuances of  the relationships present in nature. The question becomes very interesting when we discover that we can’t observe these relationships and interactions from the outside because we are very much inside nature and a part of it. Studies on climate change show…