From Dante’s Circles of Hell to Academic Freedom

“The focus of Hindrik Mulder’s research is on the metabolism of insulin-producing beta cells. The question he studies is what goes wrong in type 2 diabetes: why do the insulin-producing beta cells fail? Why are they no longer able to release as much insulin as is needed to keep blood sugar levels under control?

“’The cells’ powerhouses – mitochondria – play a key role in this. The mitochondria give the cells energy and control their metabolism. However, if their workings are disturbed, the beta cells are not able to respond with sufficient insulin release when blood sugar levels rise, and this results in diabetes’, says Hindrik Mulder.” —  Tord Ajanki and Hanna Mellors, Lund University Diabetes Centre, December 10, 2018

Read the rest of the article here.

Dante Tea Room, Piazza Molino Nuovo, Lugano

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Photo credit Giacomo Berchi (8/26/2016)

Contributed by Giacomo Berchi (Istituto di Studi Italiani, USI, Lugano, CH)

Vittorio Tranini Fresco, Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Lugano)

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Photo credit Giacomo Berchi (6/13/2016)

Fresco of Dante by Vittorio Tranini, Basilica del Sacro Cuore, Lugano, Switzerland. Contributor Giacomo Berchi gives the following description: “A small frame in the right transept of the Basilica, under the mosaic of St. Francis. In it there are a portrait of Dante, deliberately inspired by Doré’s one, into which there is the capital letter ‘N’ of the quote from Par. XI, 106-08: ‘Nel crudo sasso intra Tevere ed Arno / da Cristo prese l’ultimo sigillo / che le sue membra du’anni portarno’. Frescos painted by Vittorio Tranini between 1934 and 1954.”

Contributed by Giacomo Berchi (Istituto di Studi Italiani, USI, Lugano, CH)

Mark Levinson, Particle Fever (2013)

Particle-Fever-LAC-doc-Circle-art-poster-Dante“For the first time, a film gives audiences a front row seat to a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. Particle Fever follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation. […]

“Directed by Mark Levinson, a physicist turned filmmaker, from the inspiration and initiative of producer David Kaplan and masterfully edited by Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The English Patient, The Godfather trilogy), Particle Fever is a celebration of discovery, revealing the very human stories behind this epic machine.”

During the course of the documentary (released in 2013), particle scientist Fabiola Gianotti quotes Inferno 26: “fatti non foste a viver come bruti, ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza.”

For more on the film, including links to the official trailer, still photos, and video clips, see the official film website.

Contributed by Yuhan Jin (Notre Dame, ’15)