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Life Sciences - 23.03.2020
"Thermometer" protein regulates blooming
As average temperatures rise every year, it is no longer rare to see plants flower as early as February. Behind this phenomenon is a complex of proteins whose activity is controlled by temperature changes, as has just been demonstrated by researchers from the Cell and Plant Physiology Laboratory (CNRS / CEA / INRAE / Université Grenoble Alpes) and their partners.

Life Sciences - 05.03.2020
Triglycerides control neurons in the reward circuit
Triglycerides control neurons in the reward circuit
Energy-dense food, obesity and compulsive food intake bordering addiction: the scientific literature has been pointing to connections between these for years. Scientists at the CNRS and Université de Paris have just shown for the first time how fatty nutrients act on the brain in the reward circuit. Published in Cell Metabolism on 5 March 2020, these results shed new light on the connection between food and eating disorders.

Life Sciences - 04.03.2020
Wild boars provide archaeologists with clues to early domestication
Wild boars provide archaeologists with clues to early domestication
Until now, archaeozoologists have been unable to reconstruct the earliest stages of domestication: the process of placing wild animals in captivity remained beyond their methodological reach 1 . Using the wild boar as an experimental model, a multidisciplinary team made up of scientists from the CNRS and the French National Museum of Natural History 2 have shown that a life spent in captivity has an identifiable effect on the shape of the calcaneus, a tarsal bone that plays a propulsive role in locomotion.

Health - Life Sciences - 03.03.2020
Alzheimer's: Can an amino acid help to restore memories?
Alzheimer’s: Can an amino acid help to restore memories?
Scientists at the Laboratoire des Maladies Neurodégénératives (CNRS/CEA/Université Paris-Saclay) and the Neurocentre Magendie (INSERM/Université de Bordeaux) have just shown that a metabolic pathway plays a determining role in Alzheimer's disease's memory problems. This work, published on 3 March 2020 in Cell Metabolism, also shows that supplying a specific amino acid as a nutritional supplement in a mouse model of Alzheimer's restores spatial memory affected early.

Life Sciences - 13.02.2020
Oceans: particle fragmentation plays a major role in carbon sequestration
Oceans: particle fragmentation plays a major role in carbon sequestration
A French-British team directed by the Laboratoire d'océanographie de Villefranche-sur-Mer (CNRS/Sorbonne Université) has just discovered that a little known process regulates the capacity of oceans to sequester carbon dioxide (CO2). It should be noted that photosynthesis performed by phytoplankton on the ocean's surface transforms atmospheric CO2 into organic particles, some of which later sink to its depths.

Life Sciences - 13.02.2020
PTSD and resilience after trauma: the role of memory suppression
PTSD and resilience after trauma: the role of memory suppression
The terrorist attacks committed in Paris and Saint-Denis (France) on November 13, 2015 have left lasting marks, not only on the survivors and their loved ones, but also on French society as a whole. A vast transdisciplinary research program, the " 13-Novembre " project is codirected by Francis Eustache, neuropsychologist and director of the Inserm Neuropsychology and Imaging of Human Memory laboratory (Inserm/Université de Caen Normandie/École pratique des hautes études/Caen university hospital/Cyceron imaging platform) and Denis Peschanski, historian and CNRS senior scientist.

Life Sciences - 11.02.2020
Unusual DNA structures involved in neuron ageing
Unusual DNA structures involved in neuron ageing
DNA can transiently adopt structures that are more complex than the double helix. Quadruple helices, or DNA quadruplexes, are an example of this. They are the preferred targets in the treatment of cancers. By studying their roles in neurons, an international collaboration involving a chemist from CNRS  1 has for the first time shown that quadruplexes are markers of neuronal ageing and exert a negative influence of autophagy 2 , a primordial process for neurons because of its protective effect against neurodegenerative diseases.

Life Sciences - 27.01.2020
How widespread is illegal fishing' Albatrosses are helping us with the answer
How widespread is illegal fishing’ Albatrosses are helping us with the answer
Using albatrosses fitted with loggers, researchers at the CNRS and La Rochelle Université, in association with the Administration des Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises, which manages the natural reserves of the French southern and Antarctic lands, have made a first estimation of the number of non-declared fishing boats operating without an identification system in the Southern Ocean: more than a third of the boats the birds detected in international water were non-declared.

Life Sciences - 27.01.2020
How widespread is illegal fishing? Albatrosses are helping us with the answer
How widespread is illegal fishing? Albatrosses are helping us with the answer
Using albatrosses fitted with loggers, researchers at the CNRS and La Rochelle Université, in association with the Administration des Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises, which manages the natural reserves of the French southern and Antarctic lands, have made a first estimation of the number of non-declared fishing boats operating without an identification system in the Southern Ocean: more than a third of the boats the birds detected in international water were non-declared.

Life Sciences - 24.01.2020
White lupin: the genome of this legume has finally been sequenced
White lupin: the genome of this legume has finally been sequenced
White lupin is a particularly abstemious crop, requiring very little fertiliser and producing high-protein seeds of great nutritive quality. The plant has just yielded the secrets of its genome thanks to the collaboration of eleven French and foreign laboratories coordinated by Benjamin Péret, a CNRS researcher at the Biochimie et physiologie moléculaire des plantes laboratory (CNRS/Inrae/Université de Montpellier/Montpellier SupAgro).

Life Sciences - 20.12.2019
Revealing the structure of axons
Revealing the structure of axons
Axons, the threadlike part of a nerve cell that conducts impulses, are both flexible and strong, which makes them a mystery in the eyes of biologists. Recent studies have shown that under the axonal membrane, rings composed of actin filaments give the structure its flexibility. But those studies had not been able to define the precise architecture of these rings.

Environment - Life Sciences - 27.11.2019
Neonicotinoids: despite EU moratorium, bees still at risk
Neonicotinoids: despite EU moratorium, bees still at risk
Since 2013, a European Union (EU) moratorium has restricted the application of three neonicotinoids to crops that attract bees because of the harmful effects they are deemed to have on these insects. Yet researchers from the CNRS, INRA, and the Institut de l'Abeille (ITSAP) have just demonstrated that residues of these insecticides-and especially of imidacloprid-can still be detected in rape nectar from 48% of the plots of studied fields, their concentrations varying greatly over the years.

Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 21.11.2019
Get randomly lost, get home sooner
In a multicellular organism, gene expression regulation allows cells to live, divide and ensure their proper physiological role. The molecular nature of this process (e.g. low molecule number, Brownian movements...) involves random variations. Indeed, with the same genetic background, two neighbor cells do not express their genes in the same way.

Life Sciences - 24.10.2019
Larvae on the run: focus on the neurons that orchestrate movements in Drosophila
Publication by IGFL on October 22, 2019. Drosophila larvae spend most of their short lives gorging on rotting fruit. In their 'spare time' these intriguing animals also display phases of intense physical exercise. They are capable of an astonishing array of complex locomotor behaviours such as crawling at different speeds, crawling backwards, performing sharp turns, head sweeps and pauses.

Life Sciences - 18.10.2019
Diverse conjugative elements silence natural transformation in Legionella species
Natural transformation (i.e., the uptake of DNA and its stable integration in the chromosome) is a major mechanism of horizontal gene transfer in bacteria. Although the vast majority of bacterial genomes carry the genes involved in natural transformation, close relatives of naturally transformable species often appear not competent for natural transformation.

Life Sciences - 17.10.2019
Collective behaviour 480 million years ago
Publication by Laboratoire de géologie de Lyon in Scientific Reports on October 17, 2019. Communication from CNRS info. Though our understanding of the anatomy of the earliest animals is growing ever more precise, we know next to nothing about their behaviour. Did group behaviour arise recently or is it primeval?

Life Sciences - Health - 24.09.2019
Disarming a probiotic to improve its benefits
Disarming a probiotic to improve its benefits
For more than a century, the Nissle 1917 strain of the bacterium Escherichia coli has been used as a probiotic to treat gastrointestinal disorders. However, this bacterium also produces a toxin, colibactin, which has deleterious effects on host DNA and might cause colon cancer. It is therefore crucial to understand the mechanisms at play in the strain if we wish to limit undesirable side effects.

Life Sciences - Agronomy / Food Science - 03.09.2019
The genome of the pea assembled for the first time
The genome of the pea assembled for the first time
An international team * led by researchers from INRA and CEA managed to assemble the first sequence of the pea genome. This study, published on September 2, 2019 , will, in addition to increasing knowledge of this genome compared to that of other legumes, help to improve traits of interest for peas, such as disease resistance, regularity of yield and nutritional value.

Environment - Life Sciences - 29.07.2019
Aboveground vegetation biomass in the tropics no longer has a positive impact on carbon stocks
Aboveground vegetation biomass in the tropics no longer has a positive impact on carbon stocks
Scientists from INRA, CEA, CNRS, CNES and several international universities 1 have quantified - over the 2010-2017 period ' the time changes in the carbon stocks of aboveground vegetation biomass in the tropics. One main result is that over the studied time period, these stocks are almost constant: gains in biomass carbon stocks in some regions of the tropics are compensated by losses due to deforestation or diebacks linked to climate impacts (in particular the El Niño events).

Life Sciences - Health - 25.07.2019
Artificial sweeteners: certain adverse metabolic effects revealed in a preclinical model
Artificial sweeteners: certain adverse metabolic effects revealed in a preclinical model
INRA researchers, in collaboration with the University of Adelaide, Australia, studied the effects that a widely used artificial sweetener blend, i.e. acesulfame K-sucralose, has on metabolism. For the first time, they revealed ' in animals ' an increase in glucose absorption, particularly in the brain and fatty tissues, indicating certain undesirable effects on metabolism and insulin sensitivity.
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