Making sense of science

Newsletter August 2019

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This month in science (August 2019)
life earth article
Shells, the Sentinels of the Ocean
environmental sciences Pollution, water temperature, oxygen levels... Scallops and other bivalves represent invaluable archives of the environment and climate. Researchers from Brittany, who were behind this discovery, have been roaming the seas to study them. An invitation this summer in Brest to discover the research they conduct at the poles, which is presented as part of the Arctic Blues exhibition.
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society article
Strange Inventions
innovation From the compressed air bugle to the geophone, discover the photos from the innovation archives established by Jean Perrin, the physicist who founded the CNRS. These images and many others will be presented this summer at the Rencontres d’Arles, as part of the La saga des inventions (The Saga of Inventions) exhibition co-produced by the CNRS, in partnership with the Archives nationales.
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life earth article
Solutions for Cleaner Water
Engineering Innovative techniques for decontaminating water herald the water treatment plants of the future. Here are a few of the processes that were presented this past July at the Engineering Goes Green conference in Paris.
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Also this month
matter video
The Art Conservator and the Synchrotron
Chemistry Is art truly eternal? Paintings by History's greatest masters are affected by the passage of time. But scientists and curators have joined forces to figure out exactly what is causing the ageing of artwork and find a solution to save this heritage for generations to come.
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life video
Tracking the Elusive Sperm Whales
Bioacoustics Sperm whales spend most of their lives hunting in the depths of the sea. To study them, a team of researchers used a floating autonomous ship equipped with microphones and a sound card so powerful that it can locate the animals with pinpoint accuracy.
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society article
Sport, a Reflection of our Societies
Anthropology From sport as spectacle to sport as a source of wellness, aggressiveness to a sense of teamwork, unbridled marketing to the democratization of facilities, and male chauvinism to a coeducational spirit, what values and weaknesses of today’s societies does sport reveal?
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digital billet
Computing the Cost of Computation
Computer science The new Jean-Zay supercomputer at the CNRS Institute for Development and Resources in Intensive Scientific Computing (IDRIS) is one of the instruments financed for the benefit of French researchers. How does one go about purchasing such a device? And what role will it play in artificial...
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society article
The Big-brother Effect on Language Development
Psychology Big brothers—rather than big sisters—tend to get in the way of kids picking up verbal skills, reveals a new study on the effect of siblings on language development in young French children.
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society article
The Persistence of Stereotypes
Sociology Social networks, everyday conversations, political discourse, the media, the arts… No form of communication is immune to stereotypes. Although sometimes evoked for the purpose of humour, they are often intended to be stigmatising. Paradoxically, they can also trigger a desire for complexity. The...
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matter diaporama
Helping Artworks withstand Museums
Mechanics Wood is a living material. And this shows in paintings on wood, slowly cracking, bending and warping—the price to pay for being on public display under conditions that are often far from ideal. In 2018, a team of restorers and scientists from the LMGC set up a novel experimental system at the Musée...
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life billet
Flowers Are not Window-Dressing
Biology They have been on Earth for 174 million years. Geneticist François Parcy explains how flowers teach us about the past, but also provide keys for our future and the climactic upheaval to come.
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And the latest from the CNRS
Press Releases
Thomas Ebbesen, physical chemist, awarded the CNRS Gold Medal for 2019
Even intestines are sexually distinct
In the Inner Depths of the Ear: The Shape of the Cochlea is an Indicator of Sex
CNES and CNRS renew their exceptional partnership
What do the red “ornaments” of female macaques mean?
Exploiting green tides thanks to a marine bacterium
Neurosciences unlock the secret of the first abstract engravings
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