Making sense of science

Newsletter December 2019

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This month in science (December 2019)
space article
CHEOPS, the Profiler of Exoplanets
Astronomy A quarter of a century after the discovery of the first extrasolar planet, the CHEOPS space telescope will finally enable researchers to determine what exoplanets are made of.
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matter digital article
Unveiling the Secrets of Notre Dame’s Materials
Heritage Wood, stone, iron and lead: what do we know about the materials used to build Notre-Dame and the construction techniques employed at the time? Should they be replicated? And which tests that were previously impossible to carry out are now within reach?
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society digital video
The Science of Flying Robots
Robotics From the research lab... to the game room! A team of robotics scientists has developed powerful algorithms that secure drone flights so well that anyone can fly them without fear of crashing. The tech startup Drone Interactive tapped into the basic science shaped at the GIPSA-Lab in the French Alps where researchers and engineers are working on the future of flying robots.
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Also this month
society billet
Who Invents Languages for Science Fiction?
Linguistics Who invented the Dothraki spoken by Daenerys in Game of Thrones? What linguistic theory is the basis for the language spoken by the extra-terrestrials in the film Arrival? Frédéric Landragin, author of a recent book on the topic–How to Talk to an Alien? Language and Linguistics in Science Fiction–...
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matter diaporama
Mercury in the Air
environmental sciences Invisible, and yet everywhere. Mercury is present in the atmosphere, oceans, and even in our plates! Since the adoption of the Minamata Convention on Mercury in 2013, 128 countries have been striving to limit the spread of this pollutant. However, the complex dynamics of mercury—which passes from...
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life article
Innovation and Investment Are a Pressing Need to Fight Malaria
Health After several years of decline, malaria is seeing a resurgence. Following the Sixth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria which was recently held in France, the economist Josselin Thuilliez explains what resources should be implemented to combat these...
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matter article
How to Reconstruct the Sound of Notre-Dame?
Acoustics The great organ, which was partially spared by the fire, is not the only thing that resounds within Notre-Dame. CNRS researchers are trying to reconstruct the cathedral's sound environment during different periods, providing a resource for assessing the impact of restoration work on its acoustics.
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life article
The Papuans, the Living Record of our Origins
paleogenetics What if the secrets of the origins of humanity were hidden in the DNA of the Papuan people? The Papuan Past project combines archaeological and genomic approaches to shed light on how human populations settled and adapted in Papua New Guinea over the past 50 millennia.
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society article
The Thousand and One Connections of Medieval Africa
History Long seen as being totally isolated, the medieval societies of Sub-Saharan Africa were on the contrary highly connected to one another as well as to other parts of the world, as recently demonstrated by the GlobAfrica research programme.
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And the latest from the CNRS
Press Releases
Revealing the structure of axons
Submarine cables: billions of potential seismic sensors!
Collective Memory Shapes the Construction of Personal Ones
What happens to gold nanoparticles in cells?
Speech could be older than we thought
A new French-South African ecology and environment laboratory
Molière most likely did write his own plays
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