Making sense of science

Newsletter June 2017

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This month in science (June 2017)
life article
A Bite into the Past of Extinct Marine Reptiles
Geochemistry Geochemists and paleontologists have cracked the secrets sealed in the calcium isotopes of fossil teeth to reveal why many large marine reptiles vanished from the Earth’s oceans during the mass extinction event 66 million years ago.
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matter article
Graphene Inspires Promising New Materials
Electronics The first material of its kind, with a thickness of just one atom, graphene has opened the way to the development of other ultra-thin substances. Now being produced and studied in the laboratory, these new materials could find a wide range of applications in electronics and optics.
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society article
Ever-larger Cities
Geography The world now hosts more than thirty megacities—cities with more than 10 million inhabitants—a figure expected to reach fifty by 2050. CNRS researchers look at this important trend and its effects on our ways of life.
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Also this month
life article
Can the Law Save Nature?
Law Faced with the many forms of damage caused by pollution and climate change, a growing number of legal and civil society initiatives around the world are feeding into the development of genuine environmental justice.
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space article
Using Balloons to Observe the Universe
astrophysics Cheaper than satellites, stratospheric balloons can carry telescopes up to altitudes of 40,000 meters, enabling researchers to observe the Universe. They recently completed a mission over Australia to study interstellar dust in our Galaxy, as part of the PILOT Experiment.
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matter diaporama
Within the Kingdom of Lights
Quantum physics The Kastler-Brossel Laboratory is a ‘factory’ for Nobel Laureates, with more than its fair share of physicists well known for monumental discoveries. Following in the footsteps of Alfred Kastler, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and Serge Haroche, awarded the Nobel Prize respectively in 1966, 1997 and 2012,...
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life billet
Why Moods Affect our Health
Neuroimmunology Neuroimmunology—or the study of interactions between the nervous and immune systems—is still in its infancy, but it already holds great therapeutic promise, Jean-Philippe Herbeuval and Nikaïa Smith explain.
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life article
The Complex Origins of Whale Hearing
Paleontology A fossil study brings us one crucial step closer to retracing the evolution of the auditory capacities of cetaceans, the mammal group namely comprising whales. An issue that intrigues scientists as present-day whales exhibit two distinctive ways of producing and hearing sound.
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society article
For Tolkien, the Love of Words Comes First
Linguistics The author of The Hobbit was also a poet and a medieval philologist who, as part of the process of creating the realm of Middle Earth, also invented highly elaborate imaginary languages. Charles Delattre, a specialist in Greco-Roman languages, literature and mythology, and a contributor to a...
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earth diaporama
Did the Mont-Blanc Glaciers Shrink Before?
Glaciology Global warming is currently responsible for a spectacular drop in glacier surface area in the Mont-Blanc massif. Yet researchers suspect that since the last ice age, there have been periods during which these areas may have been even smaller. They collected rock samples to assess and date these...
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life video
The Secret Sex Life of Truffles
Ecology Prices for a black truffle can exceed €1000 a kilogram, especially because this highly-sought after fungus—a gastronomic delicacy—still resists domestication. Researchers are trying to understand its particularly complex sexuality and the differences in lifestyles between a mother, who shelters the...
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And the latest from the CNRS
Press Releases
The secrets of tooth calcium revealed
From context to cortex: Discovering social neurons
A novel material for purifying natural gas
A new approach to forecasting solar flares?
International Cooperation
Toward a stronger scientific cooperation between France and Iran
Signing ceremony for the creation of the Interdisciplinary Scientific Center Poncelet in Moscow
17 International joint units from the Americas convene for the first time in Mexico City
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