Making sense of science

Newsletter December 2020

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This month in science (December 2020)
matter space article
Hayabusa2 brings back asteroid dust
astrophysics On the night of 5-6 December, a very special package landed in the South Australian desert region of Woomera. It contained samples of dust brought back from asteroid Ryugu, after a long journey by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft. These tiny grains of material should speak volumes about the earliest moments of the Solar System.
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life society billet
How to improve care for anosmia patients?
Biology Loss of smell, one of the effects of Covid-19, has a real impact on people's social lives, who sometimes suffer from isolation or depression. Three specialists share their insight and call for better medical care.
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matter article
Julie Grollier, a (bio)inspired researcher
Physics The artificial neuron she created caused a stir. Now she is set to develop processors inspired by the functioning of the brain. A portrait of spintronics specialist Julie Grollier.
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Also this month
life article
Tracking the bluefin tuna
Marine biology Despite their size, weighing as much as hundreds of kilos, bluefin tuna are difficult to study. Researchers have developed instruments to monitor these animals’ migrations as well as various physiological parameters, including those linked to their reproduction.
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life video
The Blob: a cell that learns
Biology A network of cells that can learn and adapt...and all this without a brain! The Blob continues to fascinate scientists like Audrey Dussutour, who has studied it for years. She hopes that it will reveal new properties and insights into the mystery of life itself.
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society billet
Why do women football players earn less?
Economy In a new book, Luc Arrondel and Richard Duhautois, researchers at the Paris School of Economics (PSE) and the CNAM, respectively, tackle the issue of unequal pay between women and men in the world of football.
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life article
Neanderthal Y chromosome is closer to us than thought
paleogenetics DNA analysis has revealed that, between 150,000 and 350,000 years ago, the Y chromosome of the Neanderthals was totally replaced by that of a population from which Homo sapiens is descended.
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society article
“Innovation is what will get us out of this crisis”
Economics Can capitalism be virtuous? Fairer and greener? What if innovation, made compatible with a system of social protection, were the only way out of the current crisis? This is the idea put forth by Philippe Aghion, an economist at the Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques (PJSE) laboratory and co-author...
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society billet
Of volcanoes, scientists and politicians
Geology In 2018, the biggest seismic tremor ever recorded in the region of Mayotte, a French territory in the Indian Ocean, triggered a gripping scientific investigation that resulted in the discovery that a submarine volcano was forming to the east of the island. Éric Humler, who led the scientific...
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And the latest from the CNRS
Press Releases
Alzheimer’s Disease: Regulating Copper in the Brain Stops Memory Loss Among Mice
New evidence: Neandertals buried their dead
Nature’s contributions to people found to be in decline
Getting to the bottom of Arctic landslides
New Tara expedition dedicated to ocean microbes crucial for major planetary balances
A French Team Has Improved the Measurement of a Fundamental Physical Constant
Deciphering the energetic code of cells for better anticancer therapies
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