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Former ICTP Diploma student, Saw Wai Hla, now with the Free University of Berlin, Germany, has received widespread media attention following the publication of his article (coauthored with L. Bartels, G. Meyer and K.H. Rieder), "Inducing All Steps of a Chemical Reaction with the Scanning Tunnelling Microscope Tip: Towards Single Molecule Engineering," Physical Review Letters 85 (25 September 2000). The research, which Chemical and Engineering News 78 (2 October 2000) selected as one of its top news stories for that week, is based on innovative 'tweezer' applications of scanning tunnelling microscopes to construct what may be the first 'hand-made molecule.' The finding could significantly expand a chemist's tool kit for molecular synthesis. Claudio Castellano, University of Essen, Germany; Matteo Marsili, INFM Trieste - SISSA Unit; and Alessandro Vespignani, ICTP, published "Nonequilbrium Phase Transition in a Model for Social Influence," Physical Review Letters 85 (16 October 2000). The article, which uses mathematical formulas to help explain how cultural norms are transmitted and sustained, was discussed at length by Philip Ball in "Physics: Culture Vultures," Nature - Science Update (11 October 2000). ICTP post doc Herman Julio Mosquera Cuesta spoke on German National Radio about his research on the relationship between neutrino oscillations and supernova collapse. Cuesta's findings were published in The Astrophysical Journal 544 (20 November 2000). Hilda Cerdeira, staff scientist with the ICTP Condensed Matter Group and head of the ICTP/TWAS Donation Programme, has been elected to the editorial board of the International Journal on Bifurcation and Chaos. The journal's editorial offices are housed at the University of California, Berkeley.

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