Scientific Watch N°10 - From 08/29/2015 to 09/10/2015

Please find every other two weeks a small Scientific Watch regarding cultural and scientific activities in France. [2015-N°10 from 08/29/2015 to 09/10/2015]

From 08/29/2015 to 09/10/2015

Editors :

Julie METTA, Scientific Officer - Hong Kong

Justin MONIER, Scientific Officer - Hong Kong

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

Contact :




1- Energy & Environment

1.1- IARU global climate action workshop for university students during COP21

The IARU Global University Climate Forum is a one-day workshop which will take place on December 5, 2015 at “Sorbonne Universités” in Paris during the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations (COP21). Students from around the world will present their ideas for local-scale projects that will implement measureable impacts over the year.
To participate, students should apply online before the 1st of October 2015.

More about this workshop here or here

1.2- Quantify the impact of volcanic eruptions on climate

Large volcanic eruptions eject into the stratosphere considerable quantities of sulfur, which after transformation into aerosol, block a portion of solar radiation and tend to cool down the surface of the Earth for several years. An international team of researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), the “Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD)”, the “Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)” and the “Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA)” has developed a model which measures and accurately simulates the induced cooling, It is presented in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Published on the CNRS’s website, on the 31st of August 2015 Source]

1.3- Paris climate talks could fail, warns Francois Hollande

The president of France, Francois Hollande, has warned that the Paris global climate change talks would fail unless nations make a much greater effort to reach agreement – and that the result could be millions of climate refugees.

Published on the Guardian’s website, on the 7th of September 2015 Source

1.4- Agro-ecology: diversity in grasslands key to facing climate change

For optimal production in grasslands, the best option is to plant several species of crops which causes genetic diversity (several genotypes of the same species). In a ground-breaking study, Inra researchers from Lusignan, in collaboration with the CNRS, showed the positive and complementary effects of both species diversity and genetic diversity within species (intra-species diversity) in grasslands that are subject to drought. Genetic diversity may well be the key to boost the productivity, quality and sustainability of agricultural systems faced with climate change.

Published on the Inra’s website on the 10th of September 2015 Source

1.5- Ifremer will host the “SeaDataNet 2” final meeting in Brest ( September 15-17)

The SeaDataNet infrastructure links already 90 national oceanographic data centers and marine data centers from 35 countries riparian to all European seas. The data centers manage large sets of marine and ocean data, originating from their own institutes and from other parties in their country, in a variety of data management systems and configurations. A major objective and challenge of SeaDataNet is to provide an integrated and harmonized overview and access to these data resources, using a distributed network approach.

More information here
Published on the Ifremer’s website on the 2nd of September 2015


2- Health & Society

2.1- New track to reduce liver fibrosis

Some immune cells secrete inflammatory factors that promote the progression of hepatic fibrosis. But researchers from the “unité 1149 Inserm, Centre de recherche sur l’inflammation, Faculté de médecine Xavier Bichat, Paris et unité 955 Inserm/Université Paris Est Créteil Val de Marne, Institut Mondor de recherche biomédicale à Créteil” have recently shown that a mechanism (autophagy) can controls inflammation induced and slows the progression of fibrosis.

Published on the Inserm’s website on the 31st of August 2015 Source]

2.2- DNA sequencing will help patients with retinal dystrophies

Inserm researchers from the “unité 968 Inserm/CNRS/Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Institut de la vision, Paris” used a high speed sequencing technology to study 123 genes potentially associated with cone-rod-like dystrophy, a rare form of retinal degeneration. The results are used to classify patients into subgroups according to the mutations identified and propose appropriate clinical trials.

Published on the Inserm’s website on the 7th of September 2015 source

2.3- Correlation between fine particles and low weight newborns

High concentrations of suspended fine particles in air (PM2.5) are associated with more babies with low weight (under 2.5 kg), particularly when particles are rich in sulfur. These results were found by a team from Inserm “unité 823 Inserm/Universite Joseph Fourier, Institut Albert Bonniot, La Tronche-Grenoble” associated to the European project ESCAPE. This extensive study aims to correlate the effect of polluting particles on health, such as the consequence of exposure during pregnancy, cardiovascular and respiratory complications or cancers induced in the general population.

Published on the Inserm’s website on the 04th of September 2015 Source

2.4- Light shed on the underside of the “cocktail effect” of endocrine disruptors

Chemical substances that are safe for humans when taken in isolation can become harmful when they are combined. Three research teams bringing together researchers from Inserm and CNRS in Montpellier have elucidated in vitro a molecular mechanism that could contribute to the phenomenon known as the “cocktail effect.” This study is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Article published on the Inserm’s website on the 3rd of September 2015 Source

2.5- Alzheimer’s : a new factor emerges after 30 years

Researchers from the “Institut de pharmacologie moléculaire et cellulaire (CNRS/Université Nice Sophia Antipolis)”, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases(DZNE), the Entrepreneurial University of Munich, and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich have identified a new peptide that plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease. This work from an international collaborative effort was published on August 31, 2015 in Nature.

Article published on CNRS’s website on the 31st of September 2015 Source


3- Research and Education

3.1- Power consumption: consumption decreases when following owns consumption

We consume less energy when we are aware of our own power consumption. This shown by the “TicElec1” experiment conducted since 2012 by the Research Group in law, economics and management (CNRS / Université Nice Sophia Antipolis) on a panel of a hundred households in the town of Biot (Alpes Maritimes). Results show significant differences depending on whether or not households follow their consumption and stress that the provision of information is all the more striking that it is neutral, that is to say without comparison with that of others. These results were published on August 22, 2015 in the Journal of Strategy and Management.

Published on the CNRS website on the 04th of September 2015 : - Source

3.2- "My thesis in 180 seconds" international final on the 1st of October 2015 in Paris

Registration has been opened on, September 7, 2015 to attend the final competition "My thesis in 180 seconds", host in France for the first time at “La Sorbonne”. Organized by the CNRS and the Conference of University Presidents (CPU), this competition will bring together sixteen doctoral students from eight different countries to present their thesis in three minutes! The competition jury will be chaired by the mathematician Cédric Villani, who was awarded The Fields Medal in 2010.

Published on the CNRS’s website on the 08th of September 2015 : - Source

3.3- The impacts of Inra’s research on society

Researches made by the the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (Inra) has a direct impact on our daily lives. This impact is not only significant in economic terms, but from an environmental, policy and public health standpoint as well. Using the methodology developed through the ASIRPA project, the institute can now measure these impacts.

Published on the Inra website : - Source

3.4- “Wilder”: A digital wall that brings research into a new dimension

The French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics (INRIA) in Saclay presents “Wilder”, a wall of 75 screens (6m*2m). Wilder is part of the Digiscope equipment. In addition to being larger than its predecessor, “Wilder” has screens edges screens. This new device enables scientists to navigate through huge images and complex data with extraordinary simplicity.

Article published on Inria’s website on June 2015 : - Source

3.5- The First European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC) in Nantes (France) was held on September 6-10, 2015

Organized by Ecole Centrale de Nantes under the leadership of its research laboratory in hydrodynamics, energetics and atmospheric environment (LHEEA) laboratory, the European Conference on Marine energy of waves, tides and currents brought together 500 researchers from around the world to present their latest developments towards the support of marine energy.

Please find more information about this conference on the EWTEC website : - here ]


4- Technology & Transport

4.1- Paris prepares a car-free one day!

On Sunday 27 September, Paris will go car-free for one day owning at encouraging more sustainable transport and raising awareness on the high levels of pollution the city suffers from. As Lori Zimmer writes in Inhabitat, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo’s inaugural “Journée sans voiture” will make the French capital “a pedestrian and bicycle paradise” for one day.

Published on the the Guardian’s website on 28th of August 2015 : - Source

4.2- A Toulouse researcher used a 3D printer to create the lightest electric violin around the world

In the world of electric violin, it now appears as the benchmark. With its 450 grams, the equivalent of a classical instrument, the “3DVarius” designed by a team from INSA Toulouse engineer breaks all standards thanks to its lightest unusual design. This engineer team includes a researcher playing for the conservatory who combined his passion to his expertise to create this revolutionary object.

Published on the 20minutes’s website on 28th of August 2015 : - Source

4.3- Launch of 3 satellites built by Thales Alenia Space and dedicated to climate and environment

Three satellites dedicated to climate and environment will be launched in 2015, all built by Thales Alenia Space. Their names are MSG-4, Jason-3 and Sentinel 3A.Three satellites dedicated to climate and environment will be launched in 2015, all built by Thales Alenia Space. Their names are MSG-4, Jason-3 and Sentinel 3A.

Published on the Thales’s website on 23th of June 2015 : - Source

4.4- A humanoid robot to liaise between space station crews

A team of French researchers from the “Institut cellule souche et cerveau” (Inserm/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1), led by CNRS senior researcher Peter Ford Dominey, has developed “an autobiographical memory” for the robot Nao.

Published on the CNRS’s website on 03th of September 2015 : - Source

publié le 11/09/2015

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