Scientific Watch N°12 - From 4/06/2016 to 17/06/2016

Please find every other two weeks a small Scientific Watch regarding cultural and scientific activities in France. [2016-N°12 from 04/06/2016 to 17/6/2016]

From 04/06/2016 to 17/6/2016

Editors :

Gabriel BENET, Scientific Officer - Hong Kong

Julie METTA, Scientific Officer - Hong Kong

Justin MONIER, Scientific Officer - Hong Kong

Isabelle SAVES, Attachée for Scientific & Academic Affairs - Hong Kong

Contact : sciences@consulfrance-hongkong.org

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Sommaire

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1- Energy & Environment

1.1- THE YESS AWARD 2016 IS NOW OPEN!

The YESS Award (Young Energy Storage Scientist Award) is a €12 500 (free of use) yearly award for two young innovative researchers/scientists in the field of electrochemical energy storage (batteries, supercapacitors…). The YESS Award has been created by the French network on electrochemical energy storage (RS2E). The first edition took place in 2015.
The YESS award has been made possible through a partnership with the "Batteries 2016" congress. “Batteries 2016” will be held in Nice from September 28th to 30th. The congress brings together specialists of batteries technologies (Pb, Li-ion and beyond), of batteries applications (from the micro scale to grid storage) and of the value chain (from manufacturers to end-users).
Deadline: project submission until July 27th 2016,
Please find out more information in the energy RS2E website

1.2- French Parliaments adopt bill to ratify Paris climate agreement

After the “Assemblée Nationale” which had adopted the Paris climate agreement on May 17, 2016, the second house of the French Parliament, the “Sénat”, adopted the Paris climate agreement on June, 8 2016, paving the way for the ratification by the executive. Senators from all parties approved the document. France is the second European country to ratify the agreement after Hungary. French President François Hollande will sign the bill on June 17, 2016, before the Council of Ministers.

Original article published on lemonde.fr, 8 June 2016. Source:

1.3- The Roubaix example for a “zero-waste” city

The “Zero-waste challenge” set by the city of Roubaix (North of France) in 2014 with the participation of volunteering families has managed to initiate a virtuous dynamic to reduce the quantity of waste and could serve as a model to spread in other cities.

Original article published on lemonde.fr, 11 June 2016. Source:

1.4- A new 100% recycled materials T-shirt from France

The french Company HOPPA, just launched a new T-shirt made with 100% recycled materials (old fabrics and recycled plastic bottle). The T-shirts are designed in France, it uses cotton from recycled fabrics and polyester fabric made in India from recycled plastic bottles then assembled in Toulouse, France. This process of production allows to save 2.700 liters of water per T-shirt compared to a classical t-shirt of the same composition but made with new fabric !

Original article published on mrmondialisation.org, 11 June 2016. Source:

1.5- Observatories for Research into the Environment honoured at the European Development Days 2016

On June 15-16, 2016, Brussels is hosting the tenth edition of the European Development Days (EDD), Europe’s leading forum on development organized by the European Commission. EDD 2016 will focus on the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, recently adopted by the United Nations, particularly on the « 5 P » : people, planet, prosperity, peace, partnership, mentioned in the preamble of the 2030 Agenda. Mobilized at EDD 2016, the French Research Institute for Development (IRD) will put emphasis on the key role of environmental observatories, to understand climate changes and foster populations’ adaptation in intertropical zone.

Original article published on IRD, 08 June 2016. Source:

1.6- A new app against food waste

“Too Good To Go” is a new app developed by a group of friend across Europe that allows customers and sellers to contact rapidly each other. Lucie Basch, 24 year old French woman, responsible for the French Branch, multiplied contacts with restaurant owners in Paris and Lille with a great success : there are currently more than 50 partners restaurants, and this number is still growing . The aim is to allows merchants to sell their perishable products unsold during the day. A good idea to meat hight quality products without breaking the bank.

Original article published on wedemain, 10 June 2016. Source:

1.7- World’s Space Agencies unite to face the Climate Challenge

For the first time, under the impetus of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the French Space Agency (CNES), space agencies of more than 60 countries agreed to engage their satellites, to coordinate their methods and their data to monitor human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.

Original article published on the Pib’ website, 04 June 2016. Source:

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2- Health & Society

2.1- Nanoparticles of ultrapure silicon for early cancer diagnosis

An international research team based on a collaboration between Russian and French scientists (Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, UMR5306 Université Lyon 1-CNRS, Russian Academy of Sciences, UMR 7341 Aix Marseille University-CNRS) has succeeded to synthesize nanoparticles of ultrapure silicon, which exhibited the property of efficient photoluminescence, i.e., secondary light emission after photoexcitation. These particles were able to easily penetrate into cancer cells and it allowed to use them as luminescent markers in the early diagnosis of cancer and in treatments of this disease. The article was published in the Journal Scientific Reports on April 22, 2016.

Original article published on news-medical.net, 22 May 2016. Source:

2.2- Recruitment: immuno-oncologist team leader position within the Cancer Research Center of Toulouse (CRCT)

The “Fondation Toulouse Cancer Santé”, jointly with Pierre Fabre Group, is recruiting an outstanding young immuno-oncologist for a team leader position within the Cancer Research Center of Toulouse (CRCT). The brand new “Oncopole” campus, based in Toulouse (South West of France), gathers academic, scientific, medical, clinical, technological and pharmaceutical research on cancer. Its missions are to improve fundamental knowledge on all aspects of cancer biology and to provide patients with rapid access to innovative and individualized treatments. Only applications received before July 31st 2016 will be considered.

Please find more information about the position and the application procedure here:

2.3- An app to better monitor lung cancer

Dr. Fabrice Denis from the oncology centre Jean-Bernard (Le Mans, Sarthe) was attending the American Society Of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago (June 2-6, 2017) to introduce his application for smartphone designed to rapidly detect the lung cancer relapse symptoms. He presented the results obtained after one year and a half of clinical trials showing a much higher survival rate in patients using the application.

Original article published on sante.lefigaro.fr, 6 June 2016. Source:

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3- Research and Education

3.1- Skin cancer: a molecule to push cancer cells to suicide

Researchers from the Institute of Chemistry in Nice (CNRS/Université Nice Sophia Antipolis) in collaboration with biologists of the Mediterranean Centre for Molecular Medicine (C3M, Inserm/Université Nice Sophia Antipolis) have synthesized a new molecule able to induce stress in cancer cells and trigger cellular death. This molecule, called HA15, has therapeutic effectiveness on metastatic melanoma, one of the most malignant skin cancers. The results have been published in the Journal Cancer Cell on June 13, 2016.

Original article published on the CNRS’ website, 13 June 2016. Source:

3.2- Avian embryos to develop new anti-cancer therapeutics

The start-up “Oncofactory”, created in March 2016 and originating from the Institut NeuroMyoGène (INMG, UMR 5310 CNRS- INSERM U1217 - Université de Lyon), proposes an innovative method to produce targeted tumors from patients and allowing the screening of efficient anti-cancer therapeutics, based on the use of avian embryos. The development of this technique is assisted by the innovation program of the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research).

Original article published on the CNRS’ website, 26 May 2016. Source:

3.3- A robot to cure prostate cancer with curietherapy

Designed by the team of Rochdi Merzouki at the CRIStAL (Research center in Computer Science, Signal and Automatic Control of Lille, UMR 9189 CNRS-National Center for Scientific Research, University Lille 1 and Ecole Centrale de Lille) in collaboration with medical doctors from the Centre Oscar Lambret in Lille, the curietherapy (internal or short range radiotherapy technique) robot has been officially presented at the faculty of medicine of Lille. This robot is an automated approach in prostate cancer treatment.

Original article published on the CNRS’ website, 26 May 2016. Source:

3.4- Innovative implants for repairing cartilage

In response to the increasing number of people with osteoarthritis, strategies are emerging for reconstructing cartilage. A team from Institute of Health and Medical Research - Inserm (Unit 1109, “Osteoarticular and Dental Regenerative Nanomedicine,” Inserm/University of Strasbourg), under the direction of Nadia Benkirane-Jessel, has developed a new generation of bone and joint implants. Their study, published in Trends in Biotechnology, shows that by combining stem cells and bone growth factors, these smart implants make it possible to regenerate a damaged joint.
Original article published on the Inserm’ website, June 10, 2016. Source:

3.5- Epigenomic alterations contribute to obesity-associated diabetes

Obesity is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, yet not all obese humans develop the disease. In a new study, researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and from the Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) in France have identified epigenomic alterations that are associated with inflammation and type 2 diabetes. The findings, which are published in the Journal Nature Medicine, help to explain how alterations of the epigenome during the progression of obesity can trigger insulin resistance and diabetes.
Original article published on the Inserm’ website, 06 June 2016. Source:

3.6- Identification of a therapeutic compound for a genetic form of autism spectrum disorders thanks to high throughput screening on neurons derived from pluripotent stem cells: a step towards precision medicine

A team of researchers from I-STEM laboratory (CECS / AFM-Telethon / Inserm), led by Dr. Alexandra Benchoua and Marc Peschanski, in collaboration with Prof. Thomas Bourgeron (Pasteur Institute / Paris Diderot University / CNRS) and Prof. Richard Delorme (Robert Debré Hospital / AP-HP), has highlighted the therapeutic potential of lithium in a patient with a rare form of autism spectrum disorder associated with SHANK3 gene mutation. This molecule, usually used to treat bipolar disorder, was identified thanks to high throughput screening of chemical compounds on human neurons derived from pluripotent stem cells, including those of the treated patient. This study is a first step towards the development of tools for a more personalized medicine for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. This work was published May 27, 2016 in EBioMedicine review.

Original article published on the Pasteur’ website, 06 June 2016. Source:

3.7- Gravitational waves spotted again

On 26 December 2015, scientists from the LIGO (US) and Virgo (Italy) collaborations received an unexpected Christmas gift when the Advanced LIGO detectors recorded a new gravitational wave signal, three months after the first detection1. And once again, the signal—a tiny distortion of spacetime—came from the final spinning ’dance’ of two black holes on the point of merging, a phenomenon known as coalescence. This second observation confirms that such cataclysmic events are relatively frequent, making it likely that more will be detected from late 2016, when the Advanced LIGO (US) and Advanced Virgo (Italy) resume operation following upgrading work. This will help scientists to better understand pairs of black holes, bodies that are so dense that neither light nor matter can escape from them. The discovery, made by an international collaboration including CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) teams, is announced on 15 June 2016 at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society in San Diego, and is published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Original article published on the CNRS’ website, 15 June 2016. Source:

3.8- Myosin, the checkpoint for collective cellular migration

Cell migration is involved in many physiological and pathological processes, like the spreading of metastasis for instance. To be able to collectively migrate, groups of cells have to adapt to external and internal pressures. The team of Dr. Xiaobo Wang at the laboratory “Cellular and molecular biology of proliferation control” (UMR 5088 CNRS – Université de Toulouse) has shown that the non-muscle myosin II regulates the choice in the type of movement and is required for an optimal collective cellular migration. This study providing new insight into the molecular mechanism coordinating the different cell behaviours in a migrating cluster has been published in the Journal of Cell Science.

Original article published on the CNRS’ website. Source:

3.9- French high school students are good in maths

If France stands out as great nation in maths in terms of Fields medals per inhabitant, great results in international competitions for high school students have been continuously increased over the recent years. For instance, Henry Bambury, 16 year-oold, in his last year at the Lycée Saint-Louis de Gonzague in Paris, has been selected with a bunch of young students for both the international Olympiads in mathematics (IOM) and for the International Tournament of Young Mathematicians (ITYM) respectively held in Hong Kong and St-Pétersbourg this summer.

Original article published on the CNRS’ website, 15 June 2016. Source:

3.10- Developing new diagnosis methods for Alzheimer’s Disease

At Telecom SudParis, teams of the Samovar laboratory (“Services répartis, Architectures, Modélisation, Validation, Administration des Réseaux” a CNRS-Telecom SudParis unit) are developing innovative techniques to early detect Alzheimer’s Disease and improve patients care. The team ARMEDIA (Applied Research for (multi)Media Enrichment, Diffusion, Interaction and Analysis) has developed a diagnosis method based on patients writing ability, a patient-robot interaction system able to recognize pathological movements. The team ACMES (Algorithms, Components, ModEls and Services for distributed computing) develop algorithms and tools to create applications to help the patients in their daily life like a “smart reminder” system to mitigate mnesic symptoms.

Original article published on Recherche & Innovation, a scientific information website from the Institut Mines-Télécom, 3 June 2016. Source:

3.11- Emergence of “sound studies”

For a long time, audio analysis was virtually non-existent in the world of research. Now, with the emergence of sound studies, architects, sociologists, historians and other researchers are lending an ear to the sounds of everyday life, offering a different perspective on the space we occupy and how we use it. Dr. Jean-Paul Thibaud, sociologist at the Centre for Research on Sonic Space & Urban Environment (Cresson) in Grenoble, Dr. Nicolas Misdariis, co-director of the Perception and Sound Design team at the IRCAM “Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique”, Dr. Esteban Buch, historian at the CRAL (Centre de recherches sur les arts et le langage, CNRS / EHESS) share their insight and give examples of sound studies applications.

Original article published on CNRS news, 6 June 2016. Source:

3.12- The end of an old scientific controversy

Are glasses “real” solids or hyperviscous liquids? A scientific collaboration between the Physics of condensed matter department (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission-CEA and French National Centre for Scientific Research-CNRS), the Institut de Physique Théorique (IPhT, CEA-CNRS), the Statistical Physics laboratory at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (CNRS, ENS, Université Paris 5-Descartes, Université Paris 6-Pierre et Marie Curie), the CFM company and the University of Augsburg (Germany) has solved this long-standing question. The scientists have experimentally shown, for the first time, a subtle form of glass order corresponding to a collective optimization of energy while the material structure remains spatially disordered (amorphous order). These results, published in the journal Science on June 10, 2016, suggest a more universal governing behavior for making glasses.

Original article published on the CNRS’ website, 14 June 2016. Source:

3.13- Regulating the expression of therapeutic transgenes by controlled intake of dietary essential amino acids

Basic research in nutrition have allowed to develop for animals, a new way to control gene expression through a special diet that opens original therapeutic applications. Developed by a team from the Human Nutrition Unit (INRA, Auvergne University), in collaboration with researchers from the Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord Disorders (CNRS, Inserm, AP-HP, UPMC), the tool allows to control the expression of a therapeutic protein and diffuse it locally when needed. These results have just been published in the Journal Nature Biotechnology.

Original article published on the CNRS’ website, 10 June 2016. Source:

3.14- LISA Pathfinder exceeds expectations

Mission accomplished for the LISA Pathfinder spacecraft after only two months of science operations. Not only were the technologies needed for the future eLISA1 gravitational wave space observatory validated, but the performance of the ESA demonstrator also exceeded the project specifications by a factor of five, and was very close to requirements for eLISA. These first results, which involved the Astroparticule et Cosmologie laboratory (CNRS/Université Paris Diderot/CEA/Observatoire de Paris), with support from CNES, are published on June 7, 2016 in the Journal Physical Review Letters. They represent a major step towards space-based gravitational astronomy2, which will make it possible to study phenomena such as mergers between supermassive black holes.

Original article published on the CNRS’ website, 07 June 2016. Source:

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4- Technology & Transport

4.1- Airbus Defence and Space - selected for construction of the OneWeb’ satellite constellation

The French Company “Airbus Defence and Space” has been chosen by OneWeb Ltd. for the design and manufacture of its fleet of more than 900 microsatellites, each weighing less than 150 kilos. The launch of the first microsatellite into low orbit to provide cheap Internet access to all inhabitants of the planet is expected in early 2018 .

Original article published on usinenouvelle.com, 15 June 2016. Source:

4.2- BMW likes French Start-ups

Oridao, Sentryo and Nexyad: three French start-ups seem to be very attractive for BMW. They were identified in a competition held in Paris on the 10th of June 2016, called BMW TechDate. The Bavarian manufacturer had invited twenty start-ups to present their project at a jury of industry and French entrepreneurs. For the three finalist companies , the reward expected is huge: an invitation to spend a week with the manufacturer’s R&D teams in its innovation center based in Munich, and a place on the stand that will be occupied by BMW during the next Paris Motor Show of Paris, to be held from 1st to 16th of October 2016 at the Parc des expositions in Paris - Porte de Versailles.

Original article published on usinenouvelle.com, 14 June 2016. Source:

4.3- French drivers keen on electric and hybrid cars

According to a survey made by Aramisauto.com and TNS-Sofres made among thousands of French cardrivers, nearly three quarters of cardrivers see hybrid engines (40%) and electric engines (32%) as the most prevalent kind of in the next 20 years. French combine besides the electric models the concepts of cleanliness, driving comfort, innovation and economy.

Original article published on usinenouvelle.com, 14 June 2016. Source:

4.4- AudiCity in Paris

Paris has now its own “AudiCity”. After London, Beijing or Berlin, Audi has inaugurated the first French version of the future of its franchise concept on the 14th of June 2016. Giant screens, touch pads, virtual reality ... Audi applies different technologies from the digital to transform the experience of automobile purchase.

Original article published on usinenouvelle.com, 14 June 2016. Source:

4.5- Toulouse digital ecosystem is booming

With 3.7% of regional GDP dedicated to R&D spending (public and private), the region Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées (France) is the European capital of aeronautics and space, but Toulouse has also other assets. The “Toulouse digital ecosystem” is in great shape and initiatives are multiplying. Indeed, labeled French Tech since 2014, the regional center has applied for five cases of applications for thematic networks in areas as diverse as the Internet of Things, autonomous systems, health, creative industries and retail .

Original article published on usine-digitale.fr, 14 June 2016. Source:

4.6- A- NSE, the surveillance balloons specialist company flights at Eurosatory

At Eurosatory exhibition held in Villepinte (Seine-Saint-Denis, France) in June 13-17 June 2016, A-NSE the surveillance balloons specialist company based in Le Castellet (in south East of France) designs perched high altitude balloons capable of overseeing extensive sites. Thanks to a lot of smart innovations, it stands among world leader in its field.

Original article published on usine-digitale.fr, 14 June 2016. Source:

publié le 24/06/2016

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