Making sense of science

This month in science (December 2015)

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This month in science (December 2015)

Welcome to cnrsnews.fr, your new online gateway to the latest in research from the French National Center for Scientific Research, one of the world’s leading science agencies. This website replaces the print and online version of CNRS International Magazine (whose last issue can be accessed here). 

society earth article
COP21: "Governments Have their Backs to the Wall”
11.30.2015
COP21 As COP21 begins in Paris, French climatologist Jean Jouzel, who co-organized the UNESCO conference “Our Common Future under Climate Change” last July, relays the importance of this event.
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matter article
A Battery Revolution in Motion
11.27.2015
Chemistry The first prototype of a sodium-ion battery has just been revealed by the RS2E, a French network bringing together researchers and industrial actors. This technology, inspired by the lithium-ion batteries already used in portable computers and electric vehicles, could lead to the mass storage of intermittent renewable energy sources.
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society space article
Is Life Stranded on Mars Possible?
11.09.2015
Film The Martian, a science fiction film hailed for its realism, was recently released. What are its (rare) scientific inaccuracies? Is the hero’s incredible psychological resilience the least plausible of all? Planetologist François Forget shares his views.
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Also this month
society article
Alain Fuchs: “Our most potent weapons: intelligence and knowledge”
11.19.2015
Appeal Following the attacks perpetrated in Paris, the CNRS makes a strong appeal for new multidisciplinary research projects capable of exploring all the potential issues and challenges that surround these tragic events, paving the way for durable solutions.
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matter video
digital
The wings of the future
11.13.2015
aeronautics To build the airplanes of tomorrow, researchers are turning to Nature for inspiration. But how can we copy a bird's muscles, feathers and brains? With electroactive morphing, piezoelectric turbulence control and real-time feedback loops.
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matter article
society
When the Lab Enters the Museum
10.26.2015
Archaeology Faced with the constraints of analyzing works of art in museums, researchers today can use a wide range of spectrometers and colorimeters to get to the heart of paintings and their pigments—without having to move them.
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life diaporama
Penguins in a Changing Climate
11.20.2015
ornithology Antarctica is still home to large populations of Adélie penguins, yet changes to their environment can rapidly render certain areas inhospitable. Since 2010, researchers are closely monitoring the colonies established in the Pointe Géologie Archipelago to detect these modifications and anticipate...
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matter diaporama
earth
A Giant Model to Understand Floods
11.24.2015
Physics To better predict flood risks, the iCube laboratory has devised an experimental simulation apparatus that mimics extreme flooding in an urban neighborhood. This innovation could help anticipate flooding events like the one that recently affected the French Riviera. In early October, rain-driven...
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matter article
digital
Using Molecules to Store Information
10.22.2015
Information technology Faced with the explosion of digital data, researchers are looking for revolutionary storage methods. The use of polymers, long molecular chains, is among the most promising avenues.
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life video
digital
Nanotweezers to Handle DNA
11.03.2015
nanotechnology Manipulating DNA with tweezers is now possible, using technology developed at a cutting-edge French-Japanese laboratory (LIMMS). The researchers designed silicon nanotweezers capable of grabbing and analyzing cells or molecular fibers. This microscopic instrument has already been used in Lille...
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life diaporama
earth
Are Fragmented Forests a Threat to Birdlife?
10.16.2015
Ecology Due to human activity, the forests along the coastline of French Guiana are becoming increasingly fragmented, in other words, they are being divided up into ever smaller, isolated patches. What impact is this having on biodiversity, and more specifically on birds? French researchers are conducting...
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space video
SPHERE, a New Eye on Distant Worlds
10.14.2015
Astronomy In operation since June 2014, the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch instrument (SPHERE), attached to one of the four mirrors of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, was designed for the direct observation of extrasolar planets. Light reflected by exoplanets is much fainter...
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society article
“To fight Radicalization, Europe needs to unite and strengthen its efforts”
11.20.2015
Interview French sociologist and EHESS research director Farhad Khosrokhavar shares his insight on the recent attacks of November 13 and sheds light on the jihadist radicalization process in Europe.
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