news 2017

Astronomy - Sep 2
The gravitational wave 1 detectors LIGO and Virgo have just chalked up their biggest catch yet, a black hole 142 times the mass of the Sun, resulting from the merger of two black holes of 85 and 66 solar masses.  The remnant black hole is the most massive ever observed with gravitational waves, and it could give us some clues about the formation of the supermassive black holes that sit at the centres of some galaxies.
Chemistry - Aug 27

The Earth is the only planet known to have liquid water on its surface, a fundamental characteristic when it comes to explaining the emergence of life.

Astronomy - Aug 5

New Juno results suggest that the violent thunderstorms taking place in Jupiter's atmosphere may form ammonia-rich hail, or 'mushballs', that play a key role in the planet's atmospheric dynamics.

Health - Aug 13

Since the late 1990s, immunotherapy has been the frontline treatment against lymphomas where synthetic antibodies are used to stop the proliferation of cancerous white blood cells.

Life Sciences - Aug 3
Life Sciences

Researchers at the Institut Curie have recently shown that cancer cells use a membrane protein that has been known for several decades to internalise iron.


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Environment - Civil Engineering - 20.12.2017
Installing rooftop vegetable gardens for sustainable cities
Installing rooftop vegetable gardens for sustainable cities
From producing food to regulating water runoff, urban agriculture has a lot to offer. Scientists from INRA and AgroParisTech have shown that rooftop vegetable gardens are an interesting way to recycle urban waste, produce food, and retain rainwater. Their The challenges of making today's cities more sustainable are legion: waste management, food supplies, sensitivity to heatwaves and the risk of flooding linked notably to the impermeabilisation of soils.

Life Sciences - 13.12.2017
Discovery of world's oldest plesiosaur
Discovery of world’s oldest plesiosaur
While dinosaurs reigned on dry land and in the sky, other reptiles populated the seas and oceans. Of the latter, plesiosaurs, whose means of locomotion may be described as “underwater flight,” formed the most diverse group. But when did they first appear? The discovery of the oldest of these reptiles provides evidence that they had diversified by the start of the Mesozoic Era, during the Triassic Period.

Earth Sciences - History / Archeology - 01.12.2017
Bronze Age artifacts used meteoric iron
You may already be surprised to hear there are iron objects dating back to the Bronze Age, but their meteorite origin is even more astonishing. Though meteorites had already been recognized as one source of this metal, the scientific community couldn't determine whether they accounted for most or simply a few Bronze Age iron artifacts.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 30.11.2017
New early signals to quantify the magnitude of strong earthquakes
After an earthquake, there is a disturbance in the field of gravity almost instantaneously. This could be recorded before the seismic waves that seismologists usually analyze. In a study published in Science on December 1, 2017, a team formed of researchers from CNRS, IPGP, the Université Paris Diderot 1 and Caltech has managed to observe these weak signals related to gravity and to understand where they come from.

Mechanical Engineering - 28.11.2017
Dyslexia : when spelling problems impair writing acquisition
Dyslexia : when spelling problems impair writing acquisition
Dyslexia is a learning difficulty which affects the ability to adopt the automatic reflexes needed to read and write. Several studies have sought to identify the source of the problems encountered by individuals with dyslexia when they read. Little attention, however, has been paid to the mechanisms involved in writing.

Chemistry - History / Archeology - 23.11.2017
New AGLAÉ : A global benchmark for preserving heritage
New AGLAÉ : A global benchmark for preserving heritage
To solve mysteries about ancient works or authenticate heritage objects, specialists often need support from science. Since 1988, AGLAÉ has been installed at the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France (C2RMF, Palais du Louvre). It is the only particle accelerator in the world that is exclusively dedicated to studying heritage objects.

Sport - Mathematics - 22.11.2017
Towards better understanding of railway ballast
Towards better understanding of railway ballast
SNCF engineers have been using mathematical models for many years to simulate the dynamic behavior of railways. These models have not been able to take into account large portions of the track have been extremely limited at modelling ballast, the gravel layer located under railway tracks. This is why SNCF Innovation & Recherche asked for help from specialists in wave propagation for all types of media and at varied scales: CNRS and INSA Strasbourg 1 researchers.

Earth Sciences - Life Sciences - 13.11.2017
World's longest sauropod dinosaur trackway brought to light
World’s longest sauropod dinosaur trackway brought to light
In 2009, the world's largest dinosaur tracks were discovered in the French village of Plagne, in the Jura Mountains. Since then, a series of excavations at the site has uncovered other tracks, sprawling over more than 150 meters. They form the longest sauropod trackway ever to be found.

Health - 10.11.2017
The consumption of antioxidant-rich foods is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes
A lower risk of type 2 diabetes has been observed among individuals consuming food rich in antioxidants. This effect is largely contributed by fruit, vegetables, tea and other hot beverages, as well as moderate consumption of alcohol, as shown in a recent study from an Inserm research group, published in Diabetologia , the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).

Psychology - Life Sciences - 08.11.2017
Memory : recognizing images seen briefly ten years previously
Recalling the names of old classmates 50 years after graduation or of favorite childhood television series illustrates the amazing abilities of human memory. Emotion and repeated exposure are both known to play a role in long-term memorization, but why do we remember things that are not emotionally charged and have only been seen or experienced a few times in the past?

Social Sciences - Computer Science - 07.11.2017
Modeling social interactions to improve collective decision-making
Modeling social interactions to improve collective decision-making
How are we affected by other peoples' opinions' To answer this question, scientists 1 at the CNRS, Inra and Université Toulouse 1 Capitole conducted a study in France and Japan, quantifying this impact on our decisions. They identified five behaviors common to both countries: a majority of subjects make a compromise between their opinion and that of others (59% of people in France), some hold to their opinion (29% in France), whereas others follow faithfully, amplify or contradict the information they receive.

Health - Life Sciences - 03.11.2017
Antibiotics affect the efficacy of immunotherapy
A study published in the journal Science by a research team from Gustave Roussy, INSERM, INRA, AP-HP, IHU Médiaterranée Infections* and Paris-Sud University shows that prescribed antibiotics impair the efficacy of immunotherapy in cancer patients. It is important to consider that more than 20% of patients living with cancer receive antibiotics.

Life Sciences - History / Archeology - 02.11.2017
Genetic history : Searching for the African roots of Noir Marron communities
Genetic history : Searching for the African roots of Noir Marron communities
New genetic data bear witness to transatlantic ties severed by slavery and triangular trade. Scientists 1 from the Anthropologie Moléculaire et Imagerie de Synthèse (CNRS/Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier/Paris Descartes University) and Ecological Anthropology and Ethnobiology (CNRS/MNHN) research units have shown that members of Maroon communities in South America - formed over four centuries ago by Africans who escaped slavery - have remarkably preserved their African genetic heritage (98%).

Social Sciences - 02.11.2017
Learning a mother tongue : A universal process ?
Learning a mother tongue : A universal process ?
How do children learn their mother tongue? This question has been the subject of few studies conducted outside of industrialized countries. At the Laboratoire de sciences cognitives et psycholinguistique (CNRS/ENS/EHESS), specialists in language development in children have studied a traditional population in the Bolivian Amazon, the Tsimane 1 , in partnership with bio-anthropologists from Toulouse 1 Capitole University 2 and the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Economics / Business - 01.11.2017
Ensuring the survival of elephants in Laos : a matter of economics
Ensuring the survival of elephants in Laos : a matter of economics
Asian elephant populations in Laos, which are under a process of commodification, have dropped by half in the last 30 years.

Health - Life Sciences - 26.10.2017
Discovery of a potential therapeutic target to combat trypanosomes
Discovery of a potential therapeutic target to combat trypanosomes
Yaser Hashem's team at the Laboratoire Architecture et Réactivité de l'ARN at CNRS's has discovered a new potential therapeutic target – located in the ribosome – to combat trypanosomes parasites.

Psychology - Life Sciences - 23.10.2017
Interaction Between Brain and Heart May be New Indicator of State of Consciousness
How do we know whether a patient is conscious when he or she is unable to communicate? According to an Inserm study conducted in 127 patients aged 17 to 80, changes in heartbeat in response to sound stimulation is a good indicator of state of consciousness. This is what Inserm researcher Jacobo Sitt and his team, based at the Brain & Spine Institute (ICM) at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, AP-HP, demonstrate in an article published in Annals of neurology.

Life Sciences - 20.10.2017
Water striders illustrate evolutionary processes
Water striders illustrate evolutionary processes
How do new species arise and diversify in nature? Natural selection offers an explanation, but the genetic and environmental conditions behind this mechanism are still poorly understood. A team led by Abderrahman Khila—CNRS Senior Researcher at the Institute of Functional Genomics of Lyon (CNRS / ENS de Lyon / Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University), or IGFL—has just figured out how water striders (family Veliidae) of the genus Rhagovelia developed fan-like structures at the tips of their legs.

Chemistry - 17.10.2017
World first for reading digitally encoded synthetic molecules
World first for reading digitally encoded synthetic molecules
For the first time ever, using mass spectrometry, researchers have successfully read several bytes 1 of data recorded on a molecular scale using synthetic polymers. Their work, conducted under the aegis of the Institut Charles Sadron (CNRS) in Strasbourg and the Institute of Radical Chemistry (CNRS / Aix-Marseille University), sets a new benchmark for the amount of data—stored as a sequence of molecular units (monomers)—that may be read using this routine method.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 16.10.2017
Gravitational waves shed first light on mergers of neutron stars
This is a major breakthrough in more than one respect. The scientists of the LIGO-Virgo Collaboration (which includes the CNRS) have for the first time observed the gravitational waves emitted by the merger of two neutron stars, rather than of two black holes as in previous cases. In another first, the light emitted from the source of gravitational waves was observed in the following hours, days and weeks, by 70 other groundand space-based observatories.
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