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Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 31.03.2016
The Moon thought to play a major role in maintaining Earth's magnetic field
The Moon thought to play a major role in maintaining Earth’s magnetic field
The Earth's magnetic field permanently protects us from the charged particles and radiation that originate in the Sun. This shield is produced by the geodynamo, the rapid motion of huge quantities of liquid iron alloy in the Earth's outer core. To maintain this magnetic field until the present day, the classical model required the Earth's core to have cooled by around 3 000 °C over the past 4.3 billion years.

Environment - 23.03.2016
The past, present and future of African dust
The past, present and future of African dust
So much dust is scattered across the planet by the winds of the Sahara that it alters the climate. However, the emission and transport of this dust, which can reach the poles, fluctuate considerably. Although many hypotheses have been put forward to explain this phenomenon, no unambiguous relationship between this dust and the climate had been established until now.

Chemistry - Environment - 23.03.2016
Staying in shape: How wood chemistry relates to structural stability
Staying in shape: How wood chemistry relates to structural stability
Wood has many uses, which require to know its shrinking 1 and swelling capacity in relation to humidity (known as dimensional stability). Researchers from the CNRS and Cirad 2 have shown that in Bagassa guianensis , a fast-growing Guianese tree, the secondary metabolites, whose main purpose is to defend the tree against insects and fungi, also serve to reduce shrinkage.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.03.2016
Spasticity: two potential therapeutic avenues
Spasticity: two potential therapeutic avenues
Following spinal cord injury, most patients experience an exaggeration of muscle tone called spasticity, which frequently leads to physical disability.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 16.03.2016
“A source accelerating Galactic cosmic rays to unprecedented energy discovered at the centre of the Milky Way”
“A source accelerating Galactic cosmic rays to unprecedented energy discovered at the centre of the Milky Way”
For more than ten years the H.E.S.S. observatory in Namibia, run by an international collaboration of 42 institutions in 12 countries, has been mapping the centre of our galaxy in very-high-energy gamma rays. These gamma rays are produced by cosmic rays from the innermost region of the Galaxy.

History / Archeology - Social Sciences - 10.03.2016
First non-utilitarian weapons found in the Arabian Peninsula
First non-utilitarian weapons found in the Arabian Peninsula
An exceptional collection of bronze weapons dating from the Iron Age II (900-600 BC) has been uncovered near Adam, in the Sultanate of Oman. The remains were discovered scattered on the ground in a building belonging to what is thought to be a religious complex, during excavations carried out by the French archaeological mission in central Oman.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 09.03.2016
Rosetta: type of ice reveals the age of comets
Rosetta: type of ice reveals the age of comets
The ice buried inside comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko is mainly found in crystalline form, which implies that it originated in the protosolar nebula and is therefore the same age as the Solar System. This discovery was made by an international team led by a researcher at the LAM 1 (CNRS/Aix Marseille Université) and also including scientists from the Laboratoire J.-L.

Life Sciences - Health - 03.03.2016
30 small neurons join forces against pain
30 small neurons join forces against pain
Oxytocin plays a crucial role in modulating the response to pain, but until now the process leading to its release was unknown.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 02.03.2016
Great tilt gave Mars a new face
Great tilt gave Mars a new face
The surface of the planet Mars tilted by 20 to 25 degrees 3 to 3.5 billion years ago. This was caused by a massive volcanic structure, the Tharsis volcanic dome 1 , which is the largest in the Solar System.

Astronomy / Space Science - 23.02.2016
Searching for Planet 9
Searching for Planet 9
Using observations from the Cassini spacecraft, a team of French astronomers from the Institut de mécanique céleste et de calcul des éphémérides (Observatoire de Paris / CNRS / UPMC / université Lille 1), and the laboratory GeoAzur (Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur / CNRS / Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis / IRD) have been able to specify the possible positions of a ninth planet in the Solar System.

Life Sciences - History / Archeology - 22.02.2016
Ancient DNA reveals phylogeny of prehistoric armadillos
Ancient DNA reveals phylogeny of prehistoric armadillos
Before the last ice age, South America had an impressive array of megafauna including the megatherium, a sloth the size of an elephant, and a wide variety of glyptodonts, a group of imposing armored mammals. Glyptodonts have been traditionally considered to represent a phylogenetically distinct group close to the cingulates (armadillos).

Continuing Education - Physics - 22.02.2016
Soap bubbles' secrets go pop
Soap bubbles’ secrets go pop
Some phenomena that appear to be well understood are much more mysterious than it seems. In spite of the numerous applications that rely on the presence or absence of bubbles, no advanced scientific studies had been carried out so far into how bubbles form.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.02.2016
The intestinal microbiota: a new ally for optimum growth
The intestinal microbiota: a new ally for optimum growth
The intestinal microbiota is necessary to ensure optimum postnatal growth and contributes to determining the size of adult individuals, notably in the event of undernutrition.

Chemistry - 15.02.2016
Clouds reveal new particle formation process
Clouds reveal new particle formation process
In addition to precipitation, clouds influence the climate in various ways: they cover 70% of the Earth's surface and represent nearly 15% of the volume of the atmosphere. Scientists need to understand their underlying chemical and physical mechanisms in order to better integrate them into climate change models.

Astronomy / Space Science - Physics - 11.02.2016
Gravitational waves detected 100 years after Einstein's prediction
Gravitational waves detected 100 years after Einstein’s prediction
LIGO opens New Window on the Universe with Observation of Gravitational Waves from Colliding Black Holes. For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the Earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein's 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.

Law - 10.02.2016
Forensic odorology scientifically validated
Forensic odorology scientifically validated
Odorology is a technique that uses specially-trained dogs to identify human scent. It is used in police investigations to establish that an individual has been at the scene of a crime. However, there is no international norm on how these dogs are trained. At the Centre de recherche en neurosciences de Lyon (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1/Inserm), researchers specializing in scents and their memorization have analyzed data, provided since 2003 by the Division of the Technical and Scientific Police (DTSP, Ecully) on dog performances in scent identification tasks.

Life Sciences - Earth Sciences - 10.02.2016
Plankton network linked to ocean's biological carbon pump revealed
Plankton network linked to ocean’s biological carbon pump revealed
The ocean is the largest carbon sink on the planet. The community of planktonic organisms involved in the removal of carbon from the upper layers of the ocean has now been described by an interdisciplinary team bringing together oceanographers, biologists and computer scientists, principally from the CNRS, UPMC, Nantes University, VIB, EMBL and CEA.

Psychology - Life Sciences - 08.02.2016
Toxoplasmosis: morbid attraction to leopards in parasitized chimpanzees
Researchers from the Centre d'Écologie Fonctionnelle et Évolutive (CNRS/Université de Montpellier/Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3/EPHE) have shown that chimpanzees infected with toxoplasmosis are attracted by the urine of their natural predators, leopards, but not by urine from other large felines.

Chemistry - Physics - 01.02.2016
Molecular models help to better understand shale gas
Molecular models help to better understand shale gas
Although shale gas development is attracting a lot of attention, the recovery method used, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is raising increasing concerns. In order to develop more environmentally friendly methods, researchers need models and simulations validated by experiment and capable of reconstructing the complexity of such geological structures.

Life Sciences - Health - 27.01.2016
Tuberculosis: discovery of a critical stage in the evolution of the bacillus towards pathogenicity
Tuberculosis: discovery of a critical stage in the evolution of the bacillus towards pathogenicity
Porphyran, a polysaccharide present in the cell walls of a red algae that is used notably in the preparation of sushi, is broken down specifically by an enzyme called porphyranase. This new enzymatic activity has been identified in marine bacteria and, surprisingly, in the bacteria that populate the gut of the Japanese.
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