Making sense of science

Newsletter January 2018

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This month in science (January 2018)
earth article
When Earth was a Snowball
climatology The Earth hasn't always been the blue, hospitable planet it is today. On at least three occasions our planet was completely covered with ice. How did the Earth get into this state and, above all, how did it manage to get out of it?
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society article
The Music of Antiquity
Archaeology From Egyptian harps to Roman cornua (trumpets), from Mesopotamian songs to Greek hymns, not to mention a wealth of vases, frescoes, statues, and tablets, testifying to the importance of music in ancient societies: an exhibition called “Music! Echoes of Antiquity” which originated in France but is now headed to other European cities, lends an ear to the early Western civilizations.
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space article
First Exoplanet Challenge for a Nanosatellite
astrophysics With their small size of several tens of centimeters and relatively low cost, nanosatellites—known as “CubeSats”—open up new scientific vistas. PicSat, launched on January 12, will be the first such instrument dedicated to the observation on an exoplanet.
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Also this month
matter article
Revealing Hidden Layers of Art
Engineering An international research team has upgraded an imaging method able to unveil, in high-resolution 3D, the structure of layers below the surface of paintings and other objects, opening up new prospects for art-history investigations—and much more.
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digital article
French High Tech in Las Vegas
innovation Among the thousands of exhibitors at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018, the world's largest consumer tech trade show, we put the spotlight on four young French start-ups that have come to showcase their innovations.
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life article
Light to Fight Cancer
Health By targeting cancer cells with a laser, photodynamic therapy—which is used in both dermatology and oncology—can provide new opportunities to treat certain tumors such as those that affect the prostate or brain. Introduced in France in the 1980s, this rapidly developing technique represents fresh...
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society billet
Debunking the Tragedy of the Commons
Economics Common ownership of a resource causes its demise. This was what a biologist had concluded in a 1968 paper published in Science. His article, "The Tragedy of the Commons" has shaped the economic and political thought of the last decades. The historian Fabien Locher explains the stakes of this debate...
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society article
The New Silk Roads: China’s World Ambitions
Geopolitics China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative aims to connect the country with the Middle East, Africa and Europe, by land and sea, through a network of new “silk roads.” Economist Jean-François Huchet analyzes the geopolitical impact of this unprecedented project.
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matter video
The Physics of the Guitar
Acoustics The guitar is one of the most popular instruments in the world. And yet we still know little about how its materials, geometry, and assembly interact to shape its final sound. In this video, we meet the researchers who are trying to uncover the secrets of the favorite instrument of Django Reinhardt...
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life article
A Bloom for Ocean Robots
Oceanography Robots deployed in the North Atlantic Ocean have probed the rarely observed winter growth patterns of phytoplankton and established the starting point of the bloom periods of these microalgae, vital for fighting the greenhouse effect.
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society article
Peter the Great, a Tsar who Loved Science
History Three hundred years after tsar Peter the Great’s journey throughout Europe, we look back at the time he spent in France in 1717, which although not a diplomatic success, was filled with scientific riches.
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And the latest from the CNRS
Press Releases
A new mathematics museum is taking shape in Paris
A call for projects to explore health, innovation and climate change from the standpoint of gender
Imperial College London and the CNRS create a joint laboratory to bring world's best mathematicians together
International Cooperation
MexicoComputer Sciences
Renewal of the French-Mexican International Joint Unit LAFMIA
PolandNuclear medicine and radiochemistry
1st CNRS / Polish Academy of Sciences Workshop
Central and Eastern EuropeMathematical Sciences
Signing ceremony of the agreement for the creation of the International Research Network "Mathematics with Central and Eastern Europe" – IRN ECO MATH
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