Scientific Watch N°14 - From 10/23/2015 to 11/07/2015

Please find every other two weeks a small Scientific Watch regarding cultural and scientific activities in France. [2015-N°14 from 10/23/2015 to 11/07/2015]

From 10/23/2015 to 11/07/2015

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- After the Iroise Sea, Sabella install turbines in the Philippines

Sabella has signed an agreement with H & WB to equip a hydroelectric farm in the Philippines. The Breton SMEs has developed its new hydroelectric turbine, the D15, and wish to finish the implementation before the end of 2017 in the San Bernardino Strait, north of the country.

Published on the L’usine nouvelle’s website, on the 27th of Octobre 2015 Source

1.2- A new way to carry water in jerry cans.

This year in France, the James Dyson Award competition gathered 58 students’ projects in design and engineering. The national jury composed of engineers, art directors, and professors elected Wat’Bag as the best project. Wat’bag (which allow to carry water more smartly) and four other top French projects are now in the way to win the international award.

Published on the DisignPackagingnews ’s website, on the 26th of October 2015 Source

1.3- Storing energy in buildings

The production of renewable energy is increasing dramatically but more than ever storage become the major issue. The French group AIA Associates, which for 50 years associated architects and engineers, has created a partnership with the American LightSail Energy to develop a storage solution made of compressed air integrated directly into structure of buildings.

Published on the Faites le plein d’avenir’s website, on the 22 octobre 2015 Source

1.4- Veolia and Suez have based their development in China on municipal water treatment. They are now targeting the treatment of household and hazardous waste.

France is a leader in environmental services especially with the two multinationals companies Veolia and Suez Environment. The French President François Hollande, has travelled to Chongqing, the largest municipality in the world (13 million and 33 million with its suburbs), where Suez operates drinking water from 2 million homes.

Published on the Les échos’s website, on the 26th of October 2015 Source

1.5- High performance computing accelerates the transition to low carbon energy

The Eole ( Energy Oriented Center of Excellence) project, led by the “Maison de la simulation” (implying CEA, CNRS, INRIA, University of Paris Sud and Versailles, St Quentin en Yvelines) was officially launched in October 2015. This center is going to use its prodigious potential of computing infrastructures in order to facilitate and accelerate the transition to European low-carbon energy.

Published on the CNRS’s website, on the 27th of October 2015 Source

1.6- A new coating made of silica airgel to improve the thermal insulation of buildings

An innovative solution for exterior insulation consists in a coating spray incorporating silica airgel granules. This new spray can be implemented using conventional tools. The performance seems to be promising for the future. This project is a big cooperation between many stakeholders :

Industrial patners : Parex Group (centre de R&D de Saint-Quentin Fallavier), Enersens/PCAS (concepteur de l’aérogel de silice), Wienerberger (briques isolantes) ;

Researcher partners : CEA Liten (modélisation et recherche dans les EnR), CEP Armines (centre de recherche spécialisé dans les matériaux et les procédés pour l’énergie), LOCIE (laboratoire spécialisé dans la mécanique des matériaux), CSTB ;

Other institutions: Tenerrdis, Axelera et Capenergies ;

Financial sponsor : Fonds unique interministériel, Banque publique d’investissement, région Rhône-Alpes, conseils généraux de l’Isère et de l’Ain, Feder, Grenoble Alpes Métropole, communauté d’agglomération des Portes de l’Isère.

Published on the Batiactu’s website, on the 31th of October 2015 Source

1.7- Météo-France launches its Climate application

Météo-France proposes a Climate HD application that provides access to the knowledge on climate change in all regions of France between 1900 and 2100.

Find out more about this app on the Météo-France website

Published on the Les échos’s website on the 2nd of October 2015 Source

1.8- Startup: “Véritable” invented the autonomous vegetable garden for urban life.

Within five years, « Véritable », a young French startup is becoming a leader in urban agriculture, with its interior garden project.

Published on the Acteur de l’économie’s website, on the 20th of October 2015 Source


2- Health & Society

2.1- A new way to treat tuberculosis?

An international study conducted by the teams of Drs. Isabelle Maridonneau-Parini and Olivier Neyrolles from the Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology (CNRS-University of Toulouse) reports the identification and characterization of an anti-inflammatory human monocyte population, which foster the resilience of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The results were published in the Journal Cell Research.

Please find out a new video about this project here

Published on the IPBS’s website ont the 03 November 2015Source

2.2- Music Training Increases Phonological Awareness and Reading Skills in Developmental Dyslexia

Weekly music sessions significantly improve the reading skills of dyslexic children within few months. This is a complementary approach to current therapy that deserves to be developed. This study was conducted by the unity 1106 from the “Inserm/Université Aix-Marseille, Institut de neurosciences des systèmes, Marseille”.

Published on the Inserm’s website on the 27th of october 2015 Source

2.3- Obesity surgery corrects diabetes

Following surgical treatment of obesity there is two main consequences: patients lose weight rapidly during following months and type 2 diabetes improves right after the surgical intervention. Researchers from Inserm, with the help of doctors at the Bichat Hospital (Paris), revealed that the intestine remodelled by the intervention could be the cause of that better glycemic control. This study is published in Gastroenterology.

Published on the Inserm’s website on the 26th of october 2015 Source

2.4- Staphylococcus aureus, an iron thief

The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus specifically destroys the red blood cells to steal iron! Researchers have discovered this phenomenon and to describe the mechanism which offer a track to fight against the bacteria. This study was made by the unity 1111 from “Inserm/CNRS/ENS, Centre international de recherche en infectiologie, Lyon”, the unity 1134 from “Inserm/Université Paris-Diderot/ Institut national de transfusion sanguine, Paris” and the New York University School of Medicine.

Published on the Inserm’s website on the 16th of october 2015 Source

2.5- A new vaccine against asthma?

The dengue virus affects 390 million people a year worldwide. An increase in cases is feared early 2016, particularly in Southeast Asia, due to the very intensive El Niño phenomenon expected. Indeed, a new study by researchers from the IRD, published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), has just shown the important role of the El Niño in the Hemorrhagic fever outbreaks.

Published on the IRD’s website on the 27th of october 2015 Source

2.6- El Niño raises fears of dengue outbreaks

The dengue virus affects 390 million people a year worldwide. An increase in cases is feared early 2016, particularly in Southeast Asia, due to the very intensive El Niño phenomenon expected. Indeed, a new study by researchers from the IRD, published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), has just shown the important role of the El Niño in the Hemorrhagic fever outbreaks.

Published on the IRD’s website on the 27th of october 2015 Source


3- Research and Education

3.1- Download the PDF version of the 38th the CNRS International Magazine

Between November 30 and December 11, the world will come together in Paris for the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, otherwise known as COP21. In the run-up to what could be a historic meeting, the CNRS magazine explore the ongoing research by scientists from all disciplines.

38th CNRS International Magazine

3.2- 2014, a year at the CNRS

The CNRS activity report presents a selection of results derived from top-level scientific research carried out in its laboratories, mostly in collaboration with universities, academic and research institutions, both in France and abroad, as well as businesses. This brochure also highlights the CNRS strategy in terms of technology transfer, partnerships, and the modernization of its management processes.

October 2014 - Activity report here

3.3- Into how many pieces does a balloon burst?

A moderately inflated rubber balloon pricked with a needle bursts into two large fragments. However, if you inflate it until it bursts spontaneously, you get dozens of shreds. Now, Sébastien Moulinet and Mokhtar Adda-Bedia at the Laboratoire de Physique Statistique (CNRS/UPMC/ENS/Université Paris Diderot) have explained this phenomenon: when a crack propagating across the surface of a balloon reaches a critical speed, it becomes unstable and splits into two new cracks. It is this mechanism of proliferating cracks that causes the balloon to burst into shreds. The work, published in Physical Review Letters, sheds light on the fragmentation processes in materials subjected to impacts or explosions.

Published on CNRS website on the 02nd of November 2015 Source

3.4- Publication of the book "Life footprint, environmental DNA"

The book "Life Footprint, Environmental DNA" written by researchers from CNRS or associated laboratories will appear in bookstores on November 12, 2015. Edited by « La recherche du midi », in partnership with the CNRS, this book invites people to go on the traces left in the environment by living organisms. These fingerprints, which contain DNA, engage researchers with new information on the current and living fossil.

Published on Find-EMBA website on the 02nd of November 2015 Source

3.5- “Asteroseismology” can reveal strong internal magnetic fields in red giant stars

An international collaboration of astrophysicists, involving the CEA and CNRS and Paris-Diderot University, managed to determine the presence of strong magnetic fields in the heart of the red giant stars that vibrate like the sun. By studying the waves generated on the surface of hundreds of red giant stars, scientists could probe the interior of stars and rebuild their structures. These results have been published in Science on October 23, 2015.

Published on CNRS website on the 23rd of November 2015 Source

3.6- Dr Maria Razzauti, at INRA Montpellier, awarded a scholarship L’Oréal-Unesco

Post-doctoral researcher at INRA Montpellier, Dr. Maria Razzauti just received a national scholarship L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science. This 20 000 euros prize is given to encourage her to continue its work on infectious diseases transmitted by wild animals to man.

Published on Inra website on the 23rd of October 2015 Source

3.7- “In the Medicis villa of maths

With 3500 visitors a year, the International Mathematical Centre in Luminy campus in Marseille is one of the most important meeting places dedicated to the discipline worldwide. Please find out more information related to this campus here

Published on CNRS website on the 30rd of October 2015 Source


4- Technology & Transport

4.1- A new way to manage algae in Nantes

If we already knew their virtues for cosmetics or food, Nantes algae continue to inspire. The first edition of the Green Week started on Monday in Nantes, with a conference specifically dedicated to this new sector. Indeed, the company Naoned algae has just made some sunglasses made of a material composed of algae and propylene.

Published on the 20 minutes’s website on the 18th of October 2015 Source

4.2- European Conférence on Queueing Theory

After three successful Madrid Conferences on Queueing Theory (MCQT), organized by Prof. Jesús Artalejo, it was decided to continue the MCQT conferences in a European context. The First European Conference on Queueing Theory (ECQT 2014) took place in Ghent (Belgium). ECQT aims to be a meeting place where scientists and technicians in the field can find a discussion forum to promote research, encourage interaction and exchange ideas.

To registered please contact the ECQT
Submissions deadline:April 15th, 2016

Find out more information on the ECQT website

publié le 06/11/2015

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