Making sense of science

Newsletter January 2020

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This month in science (January 2020)
society video
Ethiopia's Puzzling History
History A team of historians and archaeologists has finally found written sources that will help them write a forgotten period of Ethiopia's history. The only problem is that these islamic tombstones are being uncovered in the heart of what was the Christian Kingdom of medieval Ethiopia...
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life digital article
Seeing in the Dark?
Chemistry The treatment of certain cancers using dynamic phototherapy has revealed an unexpected side effect: patients can see better at night. Using molecular simulation, scientists have now succeeded in clarifying the mechanisms that underlie this surprising visual acuity.
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life article
Revealing the Amazing Amazon Reef
Biology Discovered only recently, this underwater reef located some hundred kilometres off the coast of French Guiana boasts exceptional biodiversity, as scientists on board the Greenpeace ship “Esperanza” were able to observe last September.
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Also this month
digital article
CNRS technologies at the CES 2020
innovation A number of start-ups linked to labs at the CNRS attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 earlier this month, the famous international trade fair for new technologies.
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life article
How Long Have we Been Talking?
Speech Very popular for the past 50 years, the laryngeal descent theory (LDT), proposed to explain the human capacity for speech, has been challenged by a multidisciplinary team of researchers. Their conclusions push the possible emergence of speech back from 200,000 to more than 20 million years ago,...
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society article
Archaeologists Back in Mesopotamia
Archaeology Recent years have seen the return of French archaeological missions to Iraq. A project launched last spring plans to use innovative cartography techniques to help Iraqis conserve their heritage.
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society article
"Innovating also Means Improving Living Conditions"
Economics Our conception of innovation has changed radically in recent decades, with an approach based on human well-being replacing the technocentric ideology of the 1990s, believes the economist Sébastien Lechevalier, who recently edited a book on the subject.
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life billet
A Universal Law May Govern all Living Beings
Ecology Despite the infinite diversity of life, a great many of the most important characteristics of living species, such as growth and metabolism, are governed by universal laws — but not as previously thought. This is the intriguing conclusion reached by an international research team including the...
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life article
Exercise is Good for You, it's a Fact
Biology Depression, cancer, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes… A collective study has confirmed the preventive and curative value of physical exercise in relation to chronic diseases – provided an appropriate regimen is put in place.
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And the latest from the CNRS
Press Releases
White lupin: the genome of this legume has finally been sequenced
The CNRS demands the immediate release of the researchers detained in Iran
Heading to Barbados to investigate two unknowns in the climate equation
The colours of the Pachacamac idol, an Inca God, finally revealed
Mars: water could disappear faster than expected
From as young as 4, children see males as more powerful than females
A better estimate of water-level rise in the Ganges delta
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