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Earth Sciences - Environment - 21.12.2021
Microplastic discovered in 'pristine' Pyrenees mountain air
Microplastic discovered in ’pristine’ Pyrenees mountain air
Previously detected in rivers, oceans, and snow, 1 microplastic has now been found in the high-altitude air surrounding the Pic du Midi (2,877 m)-by an international research team including scientists from the CNRS, Université Grenoble Alpes, 2 and the University of Strathclyde (Scotland). After analysing the composition of 10,000 m3 of air captured weekly by a pump installed at the Pic du Midi Observatory, 3 the researchers report a microplastic concentration of approximately one particle per 4 m3.

Physics - 16.12.2021
Invited CEA-Leti Paper at IEDM 2021 Identifies Main Challenges Facing Large-Scale Si Quantum Computing
SAN FRANCISCO - Dec. 16, 2021 - CEA, in collaboration with CNRS Néel, a leading team in SI-based quantum c'omputing, presented two papers on that topic at IEDM 2021, including an invited paper that identifies the material and integration challenges facing large-scale Si quantum computing. The second paper presents a novel Si quantum device integration that reduces by half the effective gate pitch and provides full controllability in 1D FD-SOI quantum dot (QD) arrays.

Innovation - 15.12.2021
HfO2-Based FeRAM Arrays Designed & Fabricated at CEA-Leti Bring the Technology Closer to Manufacturability
SAN FRANCISCO 2021 - CEA-Leti has reported the world's-first demonstration of 16-kbit ferroelectric random-access memory (FeRAM) arrays at the 130nm node that advances this energy-saving technology closer to commercialization. The breakthrough includes back-end-of-line (BEOL) integration of TiN /HfO 2 :Si/TiN ferroelectric capacitors as small as 0.16 µm², and solder reflow compatibility for the first time for this type of memory.

Health - 14.12.2021
A Common Food Additive Found to Alter the Human Microbiota and Intestinal Environment
Visualization of the human gut microbiota (red) in the mucus layer (green) on the surface of the intestine. © Benoit Chassaing/Institut Cochin Given the high prevalence of inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease, research is progressing to improve understanding of their risk factors and thus improve patient care.

Life Sciences - 13.12.2021
Experiment gives rise to social conventions between baboons
Experiment gives rise to social conventions between baboons
Shaking hands is an example of a social convention to say hello or goodbye. For the first time, scientists have studied the development of social conventions in non-human primates. Baboons, for example, can also establish conventions A research team from the CNRS and Aix-Marseille Université has demonstrated that members of a group of baboons can establish shared social conventions - in this case, by all agreeing on how to solve a problem in order to get a reward faster.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 13.12.2021
Einstein wins in the end (once again)
Einstein wins in the end (once again)
Einstein's theory of gravity, general relativity, has not been disproven once in over a century, despite relentless efforts from scientists to find its faults. Pulsars are stars toward the end of the stellar life cycle, emitting radio waves that sweep through space like a lighthouse: they can be detected by radio telescopes in the form of highly regular flashes.

Innovation - Materials Science - 02.12.2021
Research Team Proposes New Approach for Next-Generation Memories with RRAM Energy-Storage Breakthrough
In-memory energy is a supplemental feature to in-memory computing, which is a key focus in CEA-Leti's roadmap. It can reduce energy use dramatically because RRAM-based batteries are highly scalable and dynamically allocable, and they can be placed next to memory blocks, which are near the processor. Locating the energy supply close to the processor is especially helpful when the processor requires peak power, which typically comes from an external source.

Life Sciences - 01.12.2021
When variations in Earth's orbit drive biological evolution
When variations in Earth’s orbit drive biological evolution
Coccolithophores are microscopic algae that form tiny limestone plates, called coccoliths, around their single cells. The shape and size of coccoliths varies according to the species. After their death, coccolithophores sink to the bottom of the ocean and their coccoliths accumulate in sediments, which faithfully record the detailed evolution of these organisms over geological time.

Pharmacology - 28.10.2021
Chatbot for addressing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy
A considerable fraction of the population is reluctant to get vaccinated against COVID-19. French scientists have designed a chatbot that offers personalised responses to questions posed by the curious or hesitant-and have demonstrated its effectiveness. What if a few minutes of interaction with a chatbot could effectively address vaccine concerns? In an article published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied (28 October 2021), researchers from the CNRS, INSERM, and ENS-PSL show that such an interface is indeed capable of swaying the vaccine-hesitant.

Health - Pharmacology - 21.10.2021
New, promising opportunities for treating skin fibrosis
New, promising opportunities for treating skin fibrosis
Skin fibrosis impairs skin tissue function, and has a strong aesthetic impact. French researchers have now shown that applying an electric field to the skin could cure skin fibrosis by reducing overly high collagen levels. Collagen, the main component of the skin's extracellular matrix, can cause a pathological condition if it is in excess.

Life Sciences - History / Archeology - 20.10.2021
Origin of domestic horses finally established
Origin of domestic horses finally established
The modern horse was domesticated around 2200 years BCE in the northern Caucasus. In the centuries that followed it spread throughout Asia and Europe. To achieve this result, an international team of 162 scientists collected, sequenced and compared 273 genomes from ancient horses scattered across Eurasia.

Health - Pharmacology - 20.10.2021
A new therapeutic target to combat addiction?
A new therapeutic target to combat addiction?
Drug addiction is a psychiatric disorder for which no pharmacological treatment with long-term efficacy currently exists. All addictive substances share the property of raising concentrations of the neurotransmitter dopamine within brain regions forming the neural reward circuit. This increase in dopamine levels results in long-lasting alteration of signal transmission that is dependent on another neurotransmitter, glutamate, which causes addictive behaviours.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 13.10.2021
Climate model shows that Venus could never have had oceans
Climate model shows that Venus could never have had oceans
Whether Venus, one of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets, ever had oceans remains an unsolved puzzle. Although an American study hypothesized involving in particular scientists from the CNRS and University of Versailles-Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines 1 (UVSQ). Using a state-of-the-art climate model, the research team has come up with an alternative scenario to the American study.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 07.10.2021
Mars: first results from the Perseverance rover
Mars: first results from the Perseverance rover
Images from Perseverance's French-American instrument SuperCam show that the crater where the rover landed once contained a lake. The SuperCam observations also identified strata containing boulders, related to a major change in the hydrological regime. This study, led by a French researcher, will facilitate selection of the most suitable areas for Perseverance to collect samples.

Astronomy / Space Science - 06.10.2021
Why there is hardly any dust on some asteroids
Why there is hardly any dust on some asteroids
There was a surprise in store for NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft as it prepared to land on asteroid Bennu in October 2020 in order to collect samples. Contrary to what astronomers believed, the asteroid's surface was not covered with a layer of fine dust, called regolith. This dust, which blankets the Moon and some asteroids, is formed when thermal shock and meteorite impacts break up surface rocks.

Environment - 04.10.2021
First European map of the insulating effect of forests
First European map of the insulating effect of forests
To cool off in summer, there's nothing better than a walk in the woods. Trees act as a buffer that cools the air beneath their foliage in summer and warms it in winter. This phenomenon is caused not only by the protection that the forest canopy provides, but also by the transpiration of trees in summer: trees absorb cooler water from the soil, and this water is then transported up to the leaves, ending up in the atmosphere and thus cooling the surrounding air.

Laboratory - 27.09.2021
Zen stones naturally placed atop pedestals of ice: a phenomenon finally understood
Zen stones naturally placed atop pedestals of ice: a phenomenon finally understood
Like a work of art enshrined in a museum, some stones end up on a pedestal of ice in nature, with no human intervention. This "Zen stone" phenomenon, named after the stacked stones in Japanese gardens, appears on the surface of frozen lakes, Lake Baikal (Russia) in particular. These structures result from the phenomenon of sublimation, which causes a body, in this case ice, to change from solid to gaseous form without the intermediary form of a liquid.

Earth Sciences - 22.09.2021
Continental growth is not a continuous process
Continental growth is not a continuous process
One of Earth's unique features is that it has continents. Contrary to many theories, the continents have always been rich in silica (which is found in quartz for example). The continents did not form continuously over time but result from episodic events throughout Earth's history. The continents, a specific feature of our planet, still hold many secrets.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.09.2021
Breast cancers: ruptures in cell nuclei promotes tumor invasion
Breast cancers: ruptures in cell nuclei promotes tumor invasion
Cell nuclei protect the DNA. Nuclei can rupture when cells are deformed, causing DNA damage. In the case of breast cancer, this damage makes tumour cells more invasive, with increased risk of metastasis. When cells multiply and migrate, they can be compressed and their nucleus may break open. This phenomenon causes DNA damage.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 16.09.2021
Part of the Universe’s missing matter found thanks to the MUSE instrument
CRAL publication in MNRAS , on September 16, 2021. CNRS press release on September 16, 2021. Galaxies can receive and exchange matter with their external environment thanks to the galactic winds created by stellar explosions. Thanks to the MUSE instrument  from the Very Large Telescope at the ESO, an international research team, led on the French side by the CNRS and l'Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 , has mapped a galactic wind for the first time.
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