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Life Sciences - Physics - 29.07.2022
Manipulating chromosomes in living cells reveals that they are fluid
Manipulating chromosomes in living cells reveals that they are fluid
Chromosomes are fluid - almost liquid - outside their division phases. This discovery was made possible thanks to the direct mechanical manipulation, for the very first time, of chromosomes in the nucleus of living cells. Until then, chromosomes - which are very long DNA molecules - were represented as being entangled like loose balls of yarn, and forming a sort of gel.

Paleontology - 27.06.2022
Australopithecines in South Africa are older than previously thought
Australopithecus africanus individuals lived at least one million years earlier than previous dating indicated. This is the result from dating a cave deposit from the Sterkfontein site (South Africa), one of the richest in australopithecine remains, where the fossil of Mrs Ples, one of the first complete skulls of this kind of hominin, was discovered in 1947.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 10.06.2022
Paname 2022: campaigns to study air quality and urban climate
Paname 2022: campaigns to study air quality and urban climate
The 2022 Paname initiative 1 aims to better understand the causes and effects of climate change in urban environments through intensive measurement campaigns planned for the Paris region this summer. From the studies, information will be derived that is key to making cities more resilient to future climate realities.

Chemistry - 24.05.2022
Toward new degradable polymers
Toward new degradable polymers
Vinyl polymers, commonly referred to as "plastics," are ubiquitous materials. They are extremely interesting for their ease of synthesis and their great diversity in terms of architecture and functionality.

Life Sciences - Health - 10.05.2022
Healthy cells can impact tumour progression during embryonic development
Healthy cells can impact tumour progression during embryonic development
Half of childhood cancers arise during the development of the human embryo, which greatly complicates research into these diseases. The team of Valérie Castellani, CNRS senior researcher at the Mechanisms in Integrated Life Sciences (MeLiS) laboratory (CNRS / INSERM / Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University) has thus developed a model that optimally simulates the human embryonic environment by grafting human cancer cells into a chick embryo.

Astronomy / Space Science - 28.04.2022
Discovery of 30 exocomets in a young planetary system
Discovery of 30 exocomets in a young planetary system
For the past thirty years, the star - Pictoris has fascinated astronomers because it enables them to observe a planetary system in the process of formation. It is made up of at least two young planets, and also contains comets, which were detected as early as 1987. These were the first comets ever observed around a star other than the Sun.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 11.04.2022
Epigenetic treatments: New allies for chemotherapies?
If genetics is interested in gene sequencing, epigenetics studies how genes are going to be used, or not used, by a cell. The epigenome of a cell represents the set of chemical modifications of the DNA or associated proteins that will determine the expression of the genes and thus the cell's identity.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 01.04.2022
Perseverance records the first ever sounds from Mars
Perseverance records the first ever sounds from Mars
Using a microphone developed in France, the Perseverance rover has recorded the first ever sounds from Mars audible to the human ear. By analysing these sounds, scientists have been able to find out more about the physical characteristics of the Martian atmosphere, and in particular about the speed of sound and its attenuation there.

Social Sciences - 07.03.2022
How do spiders hunt 'in unison'
How do spiders hunt ’in unison’
Within the 50,000 known species of spiders about 20 have developed a permanent social life characterised by a remarkable cooperation 1 . Among these, one or two species hunt "in packs", such as the Anelosimus eximius spiders of French Guyana, whose colonies can house several thousand individuals of all ages, coexisting peacefully in gigantic webs that often reach several cubic metres.

Life Sciences - 21.02.2022
Rats can estimate their timing accuracy
Rats can estimate their timing accuracy
Thanks to their capacity for introspection, human beings are able to estimate the duration of their actions. When they perform a task - especially a time-based task - they can evaluate their performance and correct themselves in order to do better next time.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 21.02.2022
Balkanatolia: the forgotten continent that sheds light on the evolution of mammals
Balkanatolia: the forgotten continent that sheds light on the evolution of mammals
A team of geologists and palaeontologists has discovered that, some 50 million years ago, there was a low-lying continent separating Europe from Asia that they have named Balkanatolia. Geographical changes 40 to 34 million years ago connected this continent to its two neighbours, paving the way for the replacement of European mammals by Asian mammals.

Astronomy / Space Science - 07.02.2022
New calculations of worldwide glacial flows and volumes
New calculations of worldwide glacial flows and volumes
Many mountain populations-in the Andes or Himalayas, for example-rely on glaciers for their water. Yet changes in glacial water reserves, like predictions of sea level rise, greatly depend on glacier volume and thickness, both of which have been poorly evaluated-until now. By analysing over 800,000 pairs of satellite images, researchers from the CNRS, Université Grenoble Alpes (France), 1 and Dartmouth College (USA) have established the first global map of flow velocities for 98% (>200,000) of the world's glaciers.

Environment - Economics / Business - 03.02.2022
Massive methane emissions by oil and gas industry detected from space
Massive methane emissions by oil and gas industry detected from space
A major contributor to climate change, methane (CH4) has a global warming potential approximately 30 times higher than that of CO2, over a 100-year period. One quarter of anthropogenic emissions of this greenhouse gas originate in worldwide extraction of coal, oil, and natural gas (of which methane is the main component).

Astronomy / Space Science - 02.02.2022
Cosmic water cloud reveals the temperature of the early Universe
Cosmic water cloud reveals the temperature of the early Universe
The temperature of the cosmic microwave background radiation, a remnant of the energy unleashed by the Big Bang, has for the first time been measured at a very early stage in the history of the Universe, a mere 880 million years after it first formed. This remarkable result was achieved by an international group of astrophysicists who used NOEMA to observe a massive starburst galaxy, HFLS3, which was active at that time in cosmic history.

Astronomy / Space Science - 05.01.2022
Discovery of the least 'metallic' stellar structure in the Milky Way
Discovery of the least ’metallic’ stellar structure in the Milky Way
98.5% of the Sun is made up of two light chemical elements, hydrogen and helium, while the remaining 1.5% consists of other heavier elements such as carbon, oxygen, and iron. The abundance of these heavier elements in a star is called its 'metallicity', and varies from star to star. It now turns out that our Galaxy is home to a stellar structure uniquely made of stars with extremely low metallicity, with a heavy element content 2,500 times lower than that of the Sun.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 21.12.2021
Microplastic discovered in 'pristine' Pyrenees mountain air
Microplastic discovered in ’pristine’ Pyrenees mountain air
Previously detected in rivers, oceans, and snow, 1 microplastic has now been found in the high-altitude air surrounding the Pic du Midi (2,877 m)-by an international research team including scientists from the CNRS, Université Grenoble Alpes, 2 and the University of Strathclyde (Scotland).

Life Sciences - 13.12.2021
Experiment gives rise to social conventions between baboons
Experiment gives rise to social conventions between baboons
Shaking hands is an example of a social convention to say hello or goodbye. For the first time, scientists have studied the development of social conventions in non-human primates. Baboons, for example, can also establish conventions A research team from the CNRS and Aix-Marseille Université has demonstrated that members of a group of baboons can establish shared social conventions - in this case, by all agreeing on how to solve a problem in order to get a reward faster.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 13.12.2021
Einstein wins in the end (once again)
Einstein wins in the end (once again)
Einstein's theory of gravity, general relativity, has not been disproven once in over a century, despite relentless efforts from scientists to find its faults. Pulsars are stars toward the end of the stellar life cycle, emitting radio waves that sweep through space like a lighthouse: they can be detected by radio telescopes in the form of highly regular flashes.

Life Sciences - 01.12.2021
When variations in Earth's orbit drive biological evolution
When variations in Earth’s orbit drive biological evolution
Coccolithophores are microscopic algae that form tiny limestone plates, called coccoliths, around their single cells. The shape and size of coccoliths varies according to the species. After their death, coccolithophores sink to the bottom of the ocean and their coccoliths accumulate in sediments, which faithfully record the detailed evolution of these organisms over geological time.

Pharmacology - 28.10.2021
Chatbot for addressing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy
A considerable fraction of the population is reluctant to get vaccinated against COVID-19. French scientists have designed a chatbot that offers personalised responses to questions posed by the curious or hesitant-and have demonstrated its effectiveness. What if a few minutes of interaction with a chatbot could effectively address vaccine concerns? In an article published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied (28 October 2021), researchers from the CNRS, INSERM, and ENS-PSL show that such an interface is indeed capable of swaying the vaccine-hesitant.
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