Making sense of science

Newsletter February 2018

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This month in science (February 2018)
matter article
The Cold that Comes from Light
Physics Cooling atoms may seem like a strange idea, especially when lasers are used for that purpose. CNRS News revisits science’s best find for measuring time with accuracy, confirming fundamental physical theories, and studying certain exotic properties of matter.
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society article
Arabian Rock Art Thrown into New Relief
Archaeology The recent discovery in Saudi Arabia of large animal sculptures has prompted a team of researchers to study these ancient low- and high- rock reliefs—exceptional by their size and artistic quality—and shed light on the evolution of rock art in this region.
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earth digital video
Earth's Critical Zone of Life

All life on Earth exists on a thin layer that surrounds the planet. To better understand this so-called "critical zone," researchers are setting up state-of-the-art instruments and creating open-air laboratories all over the world. We take you on a guided tour of one of these environmental observatories in France.

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Also this month
society video
The Machine that Selected the Citizens of Athens
Archaeology In the Greek cities of antiquity, a lottery system was devised to select citizens for public duty. For the first time, researchers were able to build a stone replica of a kleroterion, the amazing machine that made this random selection possible. 
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matter billet
Energy: Hydrogen's Great Promise
Engineering What advantages does hydrogen have that could make it a key component of our future energy mix? What are the obstacles to be overcome? Daniel Hissel, a respected hydrogen specialist and recent winner of the prestigious Blondel Medal, shared an update on the topic at an international conference on...
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society article
Proust’s Letters To Go Online
Literature The correspondence of the French writer Marcel Proust, a trove of thousands of letters in countless locations around the world, is the focus of a massive digitization program uniting French and US researchers. The “Corr-Proust” project, which will be available online starting in November 2018, will...
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life billet
Health and Gender are Inseparable
Biology Why does a disease affect one gender more than the other? Why is autism misdiagnosed in women? Sociologist Mathieu Arbogast, project manager at the CNRS's Mission for Women's Integration, explains the importance of gender-related social relations to health issues.
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life billet
Debunking Neuromyths
Neuroscience Do we really only use 10% of our brains? Although many people believe it, there is absolutely no scientific evidence backing this claim. So why is neuroscience often prone to misinterpretation?
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life diaporama
Microalgae: a Revolution in the Making
bioengineering Microalgae could become an alternative to oil, a source of edible protein, while also recycling carbon dioxide. They could provide a sustainable and environmentally-friendly solution to our development needs. But how can we scale up their production and optimize the extraction process of their...
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society article
How Manga Conquered the World
Comic books Prior to the Angoulême International Comics Festival 2018, held at the end of January in France, we asked Cécile Sakai, director of the French Research Institute on Japan, to provide an overview from Tokyo of the international influence of manga.
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matter billet
Industry Aims for 'Greener’ Explosives
Chemistry Every year, huge amounts of explosives are used worldwide to build roads, extract minerals, or put satellites into orbit. Yet the processes currently in use disperse large quantities of lead into the environment. Chemists have just found a much less polluting alternative.
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And the latest from the CNRS
Press Releases
Antoine Petit named Chairman and CEO of the CNRS
Towards a better prediction of solar eruptions
Tara Oceans : discovery of over 100 million genes from the marine world.
International Cooperation
Mrs. Frédérique Vidal on a State visit to Singapore on January 22nd and 23rd 2018
United KingdomMathematical Sciences
The CNRS and Imperial College London have just established a joint laboratory in mathematics
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