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Active systems change structure similarly to how liquid crystals grow

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UB papers 22/02/2019

Some groups of bacteria or cell tissues create active systems that show a complex behaviour and change from ordered to disordered states spontaneously. This behaviour pattern is similar to the one presented by active nematics. Now, a team of researchers of the UB has published an article in Nature Physics which studies the transition from one structure to the other in these systems and which determines this transition can be mathematically described similarly to the growth of liquid crystals when they freeze.

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Detecten alteracions en la connectivitat cerebral de pacients amb diabetis de tipus 1

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UB papers 20/12/2018

Els pacients amb diabetis de tipus 1 (DT1) tenen una xarxa de connectivitat cerebral diferent de la de les persones sanes, segons una nova recerca liderada per investigadors de l’Institut de Neurociències i de l’Institut de Recerca de Sistemes Complexos (UBICS) de la Universitat de Barcelona. Aquesta constatació, a què s’ha arribat amb tècniques de neuroimatge i models estadístics aplicats a sistemes complexos, reforça la idea que el cervell d’aquests pacients desenvolupa una sèrie de canvis funcionals per adaptar-se a les alteracions cognitives provocades per aquesta malaltia. Aquests resultats podrien tenir implicacions potencials en el diagnòstic de la diabetis i en l’estudi d’altres trastorns amb alteracions cognitives.

En el treball, publicat a la revista científica PLOS ONE , hi han participat Joan Guàrdia i Maribel Peró Cebollero, de la Facultat de Psicologia de la UB; Geisa Gallardo i Andrés González, de la Universitat de Guadalajara (Mèxic), i Esteve Gudayol, de la Universitat Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (Mèxic).

L’estudi ha explorat amb tècniques d’imatge per ressonància magnètica funcional (fMRI) el patró d'activació de la connectivitat cerebral de quinze pacients amb diabetis de tipus 1 i d’un grup control de quinze persones sanes mentre feien dues tasques de memòria de treball amb estímuls visuals. Aquesta tècnica de neuroimatge mesura l'activitat cerebral durant les tasques a partir dels canvis del flux de la sang que tenen lloc al cervell segons les zones amb més consum energètic.

 

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CEIPAC profesor Dr. Antonio Aguilera Martín member of Ductus!

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CEIPAC people 13/12/2018

Our member of the UBICS and CEIPAC Professor Dr. Antonio Aguilera Martín has been appointed as member of Ductus directive committee, l’Association Internationale pour l’Etude des Inscriptions Mineures.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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Two Consolidator Grants from the European Research Council (ERC)

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UB projects 10/12/2018

UB researchers Pietro Tierno from the Faculty of Physics and member of the UBICS, and Inés Domingo, from the Faculty of Geography and History, have been honoured with two Consolidator Grants from the European Research Council (ERC) within the frame of the 2018 call. 

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Novel routes to colloidal clusters and gels

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UBICS papers 23/11/2018

In natural systems, active fluids composed by self-propelling units showed the emergence of dynamic patterns across different length scales, from animal groups to vibrated grains, microtubules, bacteria and chemical or field driven colloids. In a study published in PNAS, researchers from the UBICS and IN2UB institutes show that using a small amount of apolar dopants and growing experimental and simulation activities it’s possible realizing solid and stable structures from passive elements.  

Collections of active particles such as shaken grains, microrobots, driven colloids or bacteria showed exciting collective phenomena such as flocking, i.e. the system tendency to form temporal state of aggregation. However, the presence of self-propulsion in such systems makes difficult to assemble them into stable structures. Here UB researchers solve this timely issue by introducing the concept of "active doping", and show that few light-activated apolar, i.e. non self-propelling, units can be used to rapidly trigger the formation of solid clusters and gels composed by passive colloidal units. This active doping can be used to assemble disparate microscopic objects including synthetic or biological ones, paving the way towards the extension of fundamental concepts of gel formation and glassines to out of equilibrium systems.

Article Reference Helena Massana-Cida, Joan Codina, Ignacio Pagonabarraga, and Pietro Tierno. “Active apolar doping determines novel routes to colloidal clusters and gels”. PNAS, October 2018. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1811225115

Precision neuroengineering enables reproduction of complex brain-like functions in vitro

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Universitat de Barcelona papers 19/11/2018

One of the most important and surprising traits of the brain is its ability to reconfigure dynamically the connections to process and respond properly to stimuli. Researchers from Tohoku University (Sendai, Japan) and researchers (Jordi Soriano and Sara Teller) at the UB and members of the UBICS, using neuroengineering tools, have created in vitro neural circuits that reproduce the capacity of segregation and integration of brain circuits and which allow researchers to understand the keys of dynamic reconfiguration. The study has been published in Science Advances.

“This study shows the importance of modular organization to maximize the flexibility of a neural circuit. It also shows the potential of in vitro tools and biophysical models to progress in the understanding of collective phenomena in such a fascinating and rich complex system like the brain” says Jordi Soriano.

 

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1 Beca UBICS: Fi termini 21/11/18

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ubics grants 30/10/2018

Beca UBICS, dedicació 10 hores, període febrer-dessembre 2019, dotació econòmica mensual (import brut) 246,80 €.

La beca va dirigida a aquells estudiants de grau o de màster de qualsevol de les branques d'ensenyament de Ciències, Ciències de la Salut o Enginyeria de la UB que tinguin un coneixement bàsic de Java i que tinguin ganes de desenvolupar diferents simulacions o animacions relacionades amb els sistemes complexos fent servir Javascript.

Convocatòria i Sol·licitud

UBICS Scholarship, dedication 10 hours, period February-December 2019, monthly financial grant (gross amount) € 246,80 €

This scholarship is addressed to students that are doing their degree or master degree in fields such as Science, Health Science or Engineering at the University of Barcelona and they have some knowledge in Java. The purpose of this scholarship is to develop some simulations and animations related with complex systems using Javascript.

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Physicists and mathematicians study the evolution of language with language norm change

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Universitat de Barcelona papers 29/10/2018

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) analyses the evolution process of language studying 2,541 language norm changes that occurred during the last two centuries in the Spanish and English languages.

The study was carried out by the researchers from the Department of Condensed Matter Physics and the Institute of Complex Systems of the UB (UBICS) Albert Díaz-Guilera and Roberta Amato, together with the researcher Andrea Baronchelli, lecturer at the City, University of London, and Lucas Lacasa, from the Queen Mary University of London.

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4 Beques UBICS: Fi termini 21/11/18

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ubics grants 26/10/2018

· 2 Beques UBICS, dedicació 15 hores, període febrer-juliol 2019, dotació econòmica mensual (import brut) 370,20 €.

· 2 Beques UBICS, dedicació 25 hores, període febrer-juliol 2019, dotació econòmica mensual (import brut) 617,00 €.

Per estudiants dels següents Màsters curs 2018-19:

  • Màster de modelització Computacional atomística i multiescala en física, química i bioquímica
  • Màster de Fonaments de la ciència de dades
  • Màster de Ciència Cognitiva i Llenguatge
  • Màster Interuniversitari en Intel·ligència Artificial (UB, UPC, URV)

Convocatòria i Sol·licitud

· 2 UBICS Scholarships, dedication 15 hours, period February-July 2019, monthly financial grant (gross amount) € 370.20.

· 2 UBICS Scholarships, dedication 25 hours, period February-July 2019, monthly financial grant (gross amount) € 617.00.

For collaboration through the following Masters in the 2018-2019 course:

  • Master's degree in atomistic and multiscale computational modelling in physics, chemistry and biochemistry
  • Master's degree in Fundamental Principles of Data Science
  • Master's degree in Cognitive Science and Language
  • Interuniversity Master's degree in Artificial Intelligence (UB, UPC, URV)

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Explorant els sistemes complexos

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Institut de Ciències de l'Educació projects 03/10/2018

L'UBICS col·laborarà en l'activitat organitzada per complexitat.cat anomenada 'Explorant els sistemes complexos', que es durà a terme el 9 de novembre a la Facultat de Física, UB. El principal objectiu de l'activitat és fer arribar als docents de secundària de diferents matèries la ciència dels sistemes complexos.

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