Making sense of science

Newsletter February 2024

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This month in science (February 2024)
society article
Ancient cities in the Amazon
Archaeology A series of remarkable linear urban settlements have been uncovered in Ecuador's Upano Valley. The size, organisation, age, longevity and location of these sites has caused considerable surprise among archaeologists in South America. Stéphen Rostain, a CNRS research professor who directed the study, tells CNRS News about the discovery.
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space article
An asteroid reveals its secrets
Astronomy On 24 September, 2023, material collected three years earlier from the surface of asteroid Bennu was successfully returned to Earth by the OSIRIS-REx mission. Some thirty laboratories around the world, including several CNRS research teams, are now busy analysing the precious samples.
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life earth article
Rare Ordovician fossil deposit found in France
Palaeontology A newly-discovered fossil deposit in the foothills of the Montagne Noire range in southern France has yielded unprecedented evidence of marine biodiversity from half a billion years ago.
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Also this month
digital article
Cryptography faces the threat of quantum technology
cryptography The CNRS cryptologist Benjamin Wesolowski explains how to strengthen cryptographic methods, with a view to increasing their resistance to the potential emergence of the quantum computer.
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matter video
Soulages' blacks in the spotlight
Heritage Like other paintings of the late 1950s, Soulages’ works are deteriorating. The paint comes off in some areas, becomes soft in others, or even drips. Using imaging techniques, a team of researchers is set to unravel the mystery.
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matter article
The origins of the Standard Model
Particle physics Fifty years ago, a French team was behind a discovery that helped develop the Standard Model of Particle Physics.
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matter video
Arctic depressions
Meteorology The Arctic is warming up four times faster than the rest of the world. The depressions that cross this region could partly explain this phenomenon. French scientists are taking a close look at these local meteorological events.
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society article
The Natchez and the French, from alliance to tragedy
Interview In 1729, the Natchez tribe of Native Americans suddenly massacred French settlers living near them in the area around New Orleans. The retaliation was fierce, nearly wiping out the entire clan. In a newly-released book, the historian Gilles Havard, initiator of a “reconciliation treaty” proposal,...
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life video
Of yaks and men
Anthropology Nepalese shepherds breed yaks for their milk, meat and wool. In this report published in collaboration with LeMonde, anthropologists and ethologists study their strategies to protect their herds against snow leopards.
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Our latest press releases
Treatment of aggressive breast cancer: discovery of a new protein involved in the development of metastases
France 2030: The CEA and CNRS are leading a national spintronics programme for frugal, agile, and sustainable digital technology
Seaports are hotspots of contagious cancer in mussels
The centromere: a crucial point of vulnerability during cell division
Christelle Roy appointed Director of CNRS Nuclei & Particles
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