Making sense of science

Newsletter March 2019

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This month in science (March 2019)
life article
Edith Heard, the Epigenetics Revolution
Biology Each of our cells contains our entire genetic code. However, some become skin or muscle cells, or even neurons! This is what epigenetics can achieve. We met with Edith Heard, a global specialist in the discipline, who in January took over as director general of the prestigious European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg (Germany).
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society article
A Historical Treasure Bordering Ancient Mesopotamia
Archaeology In Iraqi Kurdistan, excavations carried out by a French archaeological mission have revealed an ancient city on the site of Kunara. Towards the end of the 3rd millennium BC, this city stood in the heart of an unknown kingdom: that of the mountain people, who had until then remained in the shadow of their powerful Mesopotamian neighbours.
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matter earth video
Storm Chasers
Physics Flying an airplane into a thunderstorm may not sound like a good idea. Unless you are a physicist. Scientists from the Exaedre project have led an exceptional mission to study the physics of lightning from up close.
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Also this month
life article
Big Data Boosts Alzheimer’s Research
Biology A cutting-edge web platform, fed by brain-scan data from thousands of persons of all ages and states of health, now pinpoints the changes in brain structure that mark the onset of Alzheimer’s in humans under 40, long before any signs of its characteristic memory disorders.
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society article
Is Science in Crisis?
Interview Conflicts of interest, merchants of doubt, the influence of private foundations... many factors can cloud scientific discourse. The philosopher Mathias Girel, a specialist in epistemology at the École Normale Supérieure, sheds light on the issue.
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society article
When Jewish Scientists Fled Nazism
history of science In his new book, the physicist Sébastien Balibar tells the story of the encounter in Paris of the Hungarian László Tisza and the German Fritz London, two scientists who fled Nazism, and their subsequent exile to the United States. He shows how scientific research was able to result in...
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space article
Next Stop: Uranus and Neptune
Astronomy Will Europe take part in the next space mission to Uranus and Neptune? To discuss the issues and technical questions that such a mission entails, Olivier Mousis, a specialist in planetary formation, is bringing together experts from around the world in Marseille for an international workshop.
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matter video
In the Heart of a Glacier
Glaciology Due to climate change, the Argentière glacier in the French Alps has been losing a metre of thickness every year for the past 30 years. A team of scientists has equipped the icy giant with more than 100 sensors to listen to its inner workings for a month.
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society article
In Ethiopia, Lalibela's Mysteries
Archaeology A complex of churches hewn directly into the rock, located in the centre of Ethiopia, is slowly yielding its secrets, thereby enabling a better grasp of the country’s history.
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society article
Zinder Reconnects with its Past
History Niger’s second-largest city is hosting a photographic exhibition on everyday life in the region at the turn of the twentieth century, in the initial stages of French colonisation. Camille Lefebvre, a historian at the Institute of African Worlds (IMAF), initiated this project, which sheds light on a...
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digital article
The Internet of Things Needs Better Power Supply
Electronics Combining miniaturisation and wireless connection, mobile devices require quick and durable sources of electricity: micro-supercapacitors and microbatteries could provide the solution.
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And the latest from the CNRS
Press Releases
Jean-Luc Moullet named CNRS Chief Technology Transfer Officer
A dietary change may have given rise to the “f” and “v” sounds
In this nematode species, males are needed for reproduction, but not because of their genes
Speaking with a robot is not as pleasant as talking to a human
Recovering tropical forests: centuries needed to acquire the composition of old-growth forests
In Search of New “Sugar Cleavers”
International Collaborations
Visits of two German high level delegations at the CNRS headquarters
SingaporeJoint Research Program
The NTU - CNRS “Excellence Science” Joint Research Program is open
CNRS participates in the Joint Science and Innovation Meeting (JSIM) between France and Australia and launches new collaborations
United KingdomIntitutional
Celebration of the 80th anniversary of the CNRS in London
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