Events

Mois : April - March - February - January -

April

24/04/2017 - When artificial intelligence evaluates chess champions

The ELO system, which most chess federations use today, ranks players by the results of their games. Although simple and efficient, it overlooks relevant criteria such as the quality of the moves players actually make. To overcome these limitations, Jean-Marc Alliot of the Institut de recherche en informatique de Toulouse (IRIT - CNRS/INP Toulouse/Université Toulouse Paul Sabatier/Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès/Université Toulouse Capitole) demonstrates a new system, published on 24 april 2017 in the International Computer Games Association Journal. more...

07/04/2017 - Smell helps primates flee parasites

Researchers from the CNRS have discovered that mandrills use their sense of smell to avoid contamination by intestinal protozoans through contact with infected members of their group. Their work, published in Science Advances on 7 april 2017, shows that parasites shape the social behavior of these primates, leading them to develop a strategy of parasite avoidance through smell. more...

03/04/2017 - Electronic synapses that can learn: towards an artificial brain?

Researchers from the CNRS, Thales, and the Universities of Bordeaux, Paris-Sud, and Evry have created an artificial synapse capable of learning autonomously. They were also able to model the device, which is essential for developing more complex circuits. The research was published in Nature Communications on 3 April 2017. more...

29/04/2015 - Film: A Nero's folly

In 2009, in Rome, on the Palatine hill, an excavation carried out by a team of French and Italian archaeologists brought to light the remains of an outstanding building that could be the base of the revolving dining room of Nero's palace. Nero's palace was made famous by descriptions handed down by ancient authors, who emphasize its size and splendour. However, this "golden house", the Domus Aurea, is today still poorly known because the buildings erected by Nero's successors have largely covered it over. more...

24/04/2015 - The April issue of CNRS International Magazine is now available

Whether for refugees, displaced populations or migrants, camps are a new feature of global society. Renowned expert and author Michel Agier details the many complex facets of a phenomenon that affects some 20 million people worldwide. Also in this issue, a special report on permafrost and climate change; prototype robots for deep-sea archaeology; a survey of international regulations surrounding animal testing; 2014 Kavli Prize-winner Thomas Ebbesen; unraveling the Herculaneum scrolls; new ways to measure nanopollution; the future of voting is online; avoiding unnecessary chemotherapy; the LIMMS celebrates 20 years of excellence, and much more. more...

24/04/2015 - Close-up: A Good Pitch

“Brass instruments can be quite loud, and trombones are no exception. Musicians use various devices to dampen the emitted sound, the most common being the straight mute…” more...

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March

30/03/2017 - Mini X-ray sensor for high-precision medical applications

The ability to detect X-rays on a tiny scale paves the way for high-precision medical imaging and therapies. Such detection capabilities have been achieved by researchers from the CNRS, the University of Franche-Comté (UFC), and Aix-Marseille University (AMU), who attached an X-ray sensor to the end of an optical fiber. Their work was published in Optics Letters on March 28, 2017. more...

23/03/2017 - CNRS and the Louvre-Lens museum study perception of art with Ikonikat

The Louvre-Lens museum and its partner, the CNRS, are conducting a novel research project during the museum's Le Nain exhibit: The Le Nain mystery. In all, 600 museum visitors will be using tablets to highlight what most captivates their attention in seven works on display. This tablet input collected throughout the exhibit's duration—from 22 March to 26 June 2017—will be recorded and processed using Ikonikat software. Researchers will use it to determine whether visitors focus on the same details that professionals find most noteworthy. The findings will help the museum redefine how artwork is presented to visitors. more...

21/03/2017 - Gender discrimination: science is no exception

Gender discrimination can be found in the most unexpected fields. An international team, involving Demian Battaglia, a CNRS researcher at the Institut de neurosciences des systèmes, as well as researchers from Yale and the Max Planck Institute (Germany), has just demonstrated that women are underrepresented in the peer review of scientific publications. This research is published in the journal eLife on March 21, 2017. more...

20/03/2017 - Light-controlled gearbox for nanomachines

Rewarded with a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2016, nanomachines provide mechanical work on the smallest of scales. Yet at such small dimensions, molecular motors can complete this work in only one direction. Researchers from the CNRS's Institut Charles Sadron, led by Nicolas Giuseppone, a professor at the Université de Strasbourg, working in collaboration with the Laboratoire de mathématiques d'Orsay (CNRS/Université Paris-Sud), have succeeded in developing more complex molecular machines that can work in one direction and its opposite. The system can even be controlled precisely, in the same way as a gearbox. The study was published in Nature Nanotechnology on March 20, 2017. more...

15/03/2017 - Discovery of an HIV reservoir marker: A new avenue toward eliminating the virus

French researchers have identified a marker that makes it possible to differentiate “dormant” HIV-infected cells from healthy cells. This discovery will make it possible to isolate and analyze reservoir cells which, by silently hosting the virus, are responsible for its persistence even among patients receiving antiviral treatment, whose viral load is undetectable. It offers new therapeutic strategies for targeting infected cells. This research is part of the ANRS strategic program “Réservoirs du VIH”. It is the result of a collaboration between the CNRS, Montpellier University, the Inserm, the Institut Pasteur, the Henri-Mondor AP-HP hospital in Créteil, the Gui de Chauliac hospital (CHU de Montpellier) and the VRI (Vaccine Research Institute), and is published in the journal Nature on March 15, 2017. A patent owned by the CNRS has been filed for the diagnostic and therapeutic use of the identified marker. more...

13/03/2017 - The world's first international race for molecule-cars, the Nanocar Race is on

Nanocars will compete for the first time ever during an international molecule-car race on April 28-29, 2017 in Toulouse (south-western France). The vehicles, which consist of a few hundred atoms, will be powered by minute electrical pulses during the 36 hours of the race, in which they must navigate a racecourse made of gold atoms, and measuring a maximum of a 100 nanometers in length. They will square off beneath the four tips of a unique microscope located at the CNRS's Centre d'élaboration de matériaux et d'études structurales (CEMES) in Toulouse. The race, which was organized by the CNRS, is first and foremost a scientific and technological challenge, and will be broadcast live on the YouTube Nanocar Race channel. Beyond the competition, the overarching objective is to advance research in the observation and control of molecule-machines. more...

02/03/2017 - The CNRS celebrates the tenth anniversary of the ERC

Created in 2007, the European Research Council (ERC) awards individual research grants to talented researchers each year. The funding organization will celebrate its tenth anniversary on 13-19 March 2017 during the "ERC Week", which will close with a scientific event to be held on 21 March in Brussels. The CNRS will participate in this celebration with a series of debates across France, as well as the launch of a website presenting the 360 ERC grant laureates from its laboratories. more...

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February

24/02/2017 - Where do flowers come from? Shedding light on Darwin's “abominable mystery”

The mystery that is the origin of flowering plants has been partially solved thanks to a team from the Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire et Végétale (CNRS/Inra/CEA/Université Grenoble Alpes), in collaboration with the Reproduction et Développement des Plantes laboratory (CNRS/ENS Lyon/Inra/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1) and Kew Gardens (UK). Their discovery, published in the journal New Phytologist on February 24, 2017, sheds light on a question that much intrigued Darwin: the appearance of a structure as complex as the flower over the course of evolution. more...

22/02/2017 - Surprising dunes on comet Chury

Surprising images from the Rosetta spacecraft show the presence of dune-like patterns on the surface of comet Chury. Researchers at the Laboratoire de Physique et Mécanique des Milieux Hétérogènes (CNRS/ESPCI Paris/UPMC/Université Paris Diderot) studied the available images and modeled the outgassing of vapor to try to explain the phenomenon. They show that the strong pressure difference between the sunlit side of the comet and that in shadow generates winds able to transport grains and form dunes. Their work is published on 21 February 2017 in the journal PNAS. more...

22/02/2017 - An exceptional system of exoplanets

Seven temperate Earth-sized planets revolve around the star TRAPPIST-1. In addition, at least three of them harbor conditions compatible with the presence of liquid water on their surfaces. The discovery was made by an international team led by a Belgian scientist and including researchers from the CNRS, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and the Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie (UPMC), the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux), Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (CNRS/UPMC/École polytechnique/ENS Paris) and Laboratoire Astrophysique, Instrumentation et Modélisation (CNRS/CEA/Université Paris Diderot). The planetary system around the star TRAPPIST-1 is one of the most astonishing and promising yet discovered, especially with regard to its scientific potential: as well as determining the orbits and masses of the planets, it will be possible in the near future to detect the potential presence of atmospheres. The findings are published in Nature on 23 February 2017. more...

20/02/2017 - French institutions back the March for Science

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15/02/2017 - Risk of rapid North Atlantic cooling in 21st century greater than previously estimated

The possibility of major climate change in the Atlantic region has long been recognized and has even been the subject of a Hollywood movie: The Day After Tomorrow. To evaluate the risk of such climate change, researchers from the Environnements et Paléoenvironnements Océaniques et Continentaux laboratory (CNRS/University of Bordeaux) and the University of Southampton developed a new algorithm to analyze the 40 climate models considered by the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).1 Their findings raise the probability of rapid North Atlantic cooling during this century to nearly 50%. Nature Communications publishes their work on February 15, 2017. more...

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January

19/01/2017 - How ants navigate homeward - forward, backward, or sideward

An international team including researchers at the university of Edinburgh and Antoine Wystrach of the Research Centre on Animal Cognition (CNRS/Université Toulouse III—Paul Sabatier) has shown that ants can get their bearings whatever the orientation of their body. Their brains may be smaller than the head of a pin, but ants are excellent navigators that use celestial and terrestrial cues to memorize their paths. To do so, they use several regions of the brain simultaneously, proving once again that the brain of insects is more complex than thought. The researchers' findings were published in Current Biology on January 19, 2017. more...

13/01/2017 - Crystallography: Electron diffraction locates hydrogen atoms

Diffraction-based analytical methods are widely used in laboratories, but they struggle to study samples that are smaller than a micrometer in size. Researchers from the Laboratoire de cristallographie et sciences des matériaux (CNRS/Ensicaen/Unicaen), the Laboratoire catalyse et spectrochimie (CNRS/Ensicaen/Unicaen)1, and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic have nevertheless been successful in using electron diffraction to reveal the structure of nanocrystals2. Their method is so sensitive that it has even located the position of hydrogen atoms for the first time, which is crucial in accessing the morphology of the molecules or the size of cavities in porous materials. This research, published on January 13, 2017, has made the front page of the journal Science. more...

11/01/2017 - Baboons produce vocalizations comparable to vowels

Baboons produce vocalizations comparable to vowels. This is what has been demonstrated by an international team coordinated by researchers from the Gipsa-Lab (CNRS/Grenoble INP/Grenoble Alpes University), the Laboratory of Cognitive Psychology (CNRS/AMU), and the Laboratory of Anatomy at the University of Montpellier, using acoustic analyses of vocalizations coupled with an anatomical study of the tongue muscles and the modeling of the acoustic potential of the vocal tract in monkeys. Published in PLOS ONE on January 11, 2017, the data confirm that baboons are capable of producing at least five vocalizations with the properties of vowels, in spite of their high larynx, and that they are capable of combining them when they communicate with their partners. The vocalizations of baboons thus point to a system of speech among non-human primates. more...

09/01/2017 - Fast fine art : 19th century painting tricks revealed

To paint quickly while creating exceptional texture and volume effects, J. M. W. Turner and other English artists of his generation relied on the development of innovative gels. All the rage in the 19th century—and still in use today—these compounds alter the properties of the oil paints they are combined with. CNRS, UPMC, and Collège de France1 researchers have finally learned the chemical secrets behind these mixtures. Lead—in its acetate form—is essential for the formation of the gels. The team's findings are published in the 9 January 2017 issue of Angewandte Chemie International Edition. more...

02/01/2017 - Nanohyperthermia softens tumors to improve treatment

The mechanical resistance of tumors and collateral damage of standard treatments often hinder efforts to defeat cancers. However, a team of researchers from the CNRS, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), Paris Descartes University, and Paris Diderot University has successfully softened malignant tumors by heating them. This method, called nanohyperthermia, makes the tumors more vulnerable to therapeutic agents. First, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are directly injected into the tumors. Then, laser irradiation activates the nanotubes, while the surrounding healthy tissue remains intact. The team's work was published on January 1 in Theranostics. more...

27/01/2015 - Film: Gérard Berry, A Programming Pioneer

This film draws the portrait of Gérard Berry, computer scientist, awarded the 2014 CNRS Gold Medal. Gérard Berry, holder of the first chair in computer science at the Collège de France since 2012. From the formal processing of programming languages to the computer-assisted design of integrated circuits and parallel real-time programming, Berry's achievements have led to major advances in information technology, finding myriad applications in the daily lives of computer users the world over. more...

27/01/2015 - The January issue of CNRS International Magazine is now available

Scientific fraud, long downplayed or even denied, is now taken very seriously and has prompted a global response at all levels of research. Our special report investigates the causes, extent, and consequences of this shameful dysfunction of science, as well as the measures being implemented to eradicate it. Also in this issue, Rosetta’s close encounter with a comet; a novel method to predict solar flares; how letter recognition repurposes neural circuitry used to detect threats; 2014 CNRS Gold Medalist Gérard Berry; philosopher Barbara Cassin emphasizes the importance of linguistic diversity; the 1000 start-ups generated by CNRS research; understanding Africa’s next challenges; 60 years of CERN; why mangroves are an asset to treasure, and much more. more...

27/01/2015 - Snapshot: Scanning a Temple

In 2013, researchers from the MAP1 laboratory were able to render a 3D model of the Tholos of Delphi, a one-of-its-kind Greek temple at the base of Mount Parnassus... more...

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