Making sense of science

Newsletter January 2021

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This month in science (January 2021)
matter article
Sensors, the other quantum revolution
Quantum physics Medicine, civil engineering, telecommunications, natural resources management... Quantum sensors offering both unique sensitivity and accuracy are about to revolutionise detection in a number of fields.
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society digital article
Pangloss: lending an ear to rare languages
Linguistics A unique collection of sound archives of rare and endangered languages is now accessible to all on the Pangloss website. Several thousand tales and stories in more than 170 languages, collected and documented by dedicated linguists, are now available in audio.
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earth article
Exploring the world’s largest ocean current
Oceanography Understanding the oceanic carbon pump and improving existing knowledge of the chemical elements in the southwestern Indian Ocean is the very purpose of the expedition involving 48 scientists preparing to board the French research vessel Marion Dufresne II for the SWINGS cruise. The two CNRS researchers leading the mission, Hélène Planquette, from the Laboratory of Environmental Marine Sciences (LEMAR), and Catherine Jeandel, from the LEGOS, told...
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Also this month
earth article
Submarine cable surveys seismic fault offshore Mount Etna
seismology Last October, as a fresh eruption broke out on Mount Etna, an unprecedented marine expedition was underway just a few kilometres from the volcano. Its goal was to gain a better understanding of the processes at work at a major submarine seismic fault, using a laser interferometry technique never...
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life article
Unfolding 40 million years of Asian steppe history
palaeoecology A French-Dutch team has reconstructed the evolution of the Central Asian steppe over the past 40 million years. This turbulent history, made up of major upheavals and mass extinctions, today serves as a warning: a new environmental crisis could irreversibly turn the region into a desert.
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digital article
What is 5G for?
Engineering As mobile operators offer the first 5G subscriptions to the general public, this new standard for telecommunications raises doubts and resistance. The CNRS senior researcher Philippe Owezarski presents the issues involved.
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life billet
No social distancing in borderless Amazonia
Archaeology The archaeologist Stéphen Rostain gives his perspective on how 13,000 years of history have shaped how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting the Amazon.
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matter article
Will hydrogen keep its promise?
Engineering Will hydrogen be the foundation for the clean energy of the future? Daniel Hissel, who was awarded the 2020 CNRS Gold Medal, provides an overview of existing capabilities, as well as present challenges.
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life video
Toxicity in the Arctic impacts bird fertility
Animal Biology Waterproofing, fire-proofing and non-stick coating. These technologies bring safety and comfort to our daily lives, but are based on chemicals called per and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS. Nicknamed “forever chemicals”, these molecules are volatile - they can be emitted by the materials...
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And the latest from the CNRS
Press Releases
Antarctica: the ocean cools at the surface but warms up at depth
Saturn’s tilt caused by its moons
2 months at sea to explore the Southern Ocean’s contribution to climate regulation
A single gene ‘invented’ haemoglobin several times
In plants, channels set the rhythm
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