Making sense of science

Newsletter December 2017

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This month in science (December 2017)
earth article
A Mysterious Volcanic Eruption in the Middle Ages
Volcanology The origin of a volcanic eruption in the Middle Ages, one of the biggest in the last ten thousand years, had long remained a mystery. It was only in 2013 that a group of scientists would solve the puzzle, in an investigation unlike any other.
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matter space article
The Equivalence Principle Confirmed in Space
Physics The first results of the Microscope experiment have just been unveiled. Its objective is to test the equivalence principle, which states that in a vacuum, all bodies fall with the same speed. Explanations with Gilles Métris, co-principal investigator of the mission.
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Also this month
matter article
Gravitational Waves Pioneers Get Highest French Science Prize
astrophysics On December 14, 2017, Alain Brillet and Thibault Damour received the CNRS Gold Medal, France's highest scientific distinction, during a ceremony at the Collège de France in Paris. Together, the two scientists contributed decisively to the discovery of gravitational waves in 2015.
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digital article
Streaming to a Device Near You
Computer science Videos are now broadcast in very high definition, on devices ranging from large TV screens to smartphones. To keep up the pace, scientists are developing ultra-sophisticated image compression tools—such as those from a French laboratory working with Netflix.
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life billet
Repairing Humans
Biology Will we one day be able to alleviate the effects of ageing and offset the deterioration of our body functions? The use of stem cells has made the regeneration of human tissues and organs—which was the stuff of dreams a few decades ago—a realistic goal, as explains the specialist, Pascal Sommer.
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life article
Microbes on the Move
Biology An international research group has shown that today’s human activities are radically reshaping the way microbes circulate, with potential repercussions on the world’s ecosystems and inhabitants.
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society article
Scientists Issue a Warning to Humanity
Environment Some 15,364 scientists from 184 countries signed a dire warning about the state of our planet in the journal BioScience. The French Ecologist Franck Courchamp, senior researcher at the CNRS, comments on this declaration, which has received unprecedented support.
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life article
A Jurassic Trail like No Other
Paleontology French geologists and paleontologists have uncovered and analyzed the world’s longest sauropod trackway: a trail of prints left by a gigantic dinosaur measuring at least 35 meters and weighing more than 35 tons.
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society article
Pizza: Globalization for Dinner?
Anthropology The art of the Neapolitan pizza maker, who twirls dough in the air, was included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list this year. A well-deserved recognition for a food item that has conquered the world without becoming standardized. The CNRS anthropologist Sylvie Sanchez looks at the...
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matter article
European Research in Focus
Prize Each year, the Stars of Europe competition rewards twelve French teams involved in European scientific collaborations. Among the 2017 laureates are three projects coordinated by CNRS researchers on climate science, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and green nanotech.
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And the latest from the CNRS
Press Releases
Discovery of world's oldest plesiosaur
Dyslexia: when spelling problems impair writing acquisition
A start-up for much faster batteries
New AGLAÉ: A global benchmark for preserving heritage
Towards better understanding of railway ballast
International Cooperation
ThailandHumanities and Social Sciences
‘Rethinking the Nature and Culture Divide’, a conference by P. Descola at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok
BrazilMathematical Sciences
IMPA gets renewed
IndiaMathematical Sciences
Creation of a French-Indian International Joint Unit in computer sciences: The UMI ReLaX
EuropeEuropean Community
ERC Consolidator Grants: CNRS ranks first among European institutions
ChinaUMI Aur@asia meeting
Research at the crossroads of Asia
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