Scientific Watch N°11 - From 09/10/2015 to 09/25/2015

Please find every other two weeks a small Scientific Watch regarding cultural and scientific activities in France. [2015-N°11 from 09/10/2015 to 09/25/2015]

From 09/10/2015 to 09/25/2015

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- Biologist Eric Karsenti awarded 2015 CNRS Gold Medal

The 2015 CNRS Gold Medal, France’s highest scientific distinction, has been awarded to the cell biologist Eric Karsenti, CNRS senior researcher emeritus. His career has been marked by significant breakthroughs concerning cell cycle regulation, the mechanisms that enable cells to divide. Always keen to push back the frontiers of knowledge, Karsenti was the initiator of the Tara Oceans expedition (2009-2013) aimed at mapping ocean biodiversity, whose first results were published earlier this year.

Published on the CNRS’s website, on the 23rd of September 2015 Source

1.2- The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) holds its Annual Scientific Conference from the 21st to the 25th of September 2015 in Copenhagen, Denmark

The event brings together over 600 scientists and policy makers. Ifremer is involved with several specialists in fisheries, the laboratories of Port en Bessin, Lorient, Nantes, Boulogne sur Mer ...

The conference is addressing a wide range of topics - from ocean acidification on marine spatial planning and the framework directive on marine strategy (MSFD). ICES brings together a total of 4,000 scientists and 350 organizations from 20 member countries.

Published on the IFREMER’s website, on the 22nd of September 2015 Source

1.3- Drought 2015: immediate effects and questions for the future

2015 is the warmest year ever measured worldwide from returns obtained over the first seven months. INRA has, for 10 years, developed tools and indicators to assess the impact of the current weather situation on plant communities, crop yields or health of forests.

Please find out more information about these tools on the INRA website.

1.4- French farmer sues energy giant after wind turbines ’make cows sick’

A French dairy farmer is suing a wind energy company whose turbines have allegedly made his cows sick and led to a dramatic fall in their milk output. An expert brought in to provide evidence to a Paris court confirmed that the 120 animals had been drinking much less water since the turbines were installed in early 2011. Mr Joly wants the firm to remove its turbines and pay 356,900 euros ( 3 million of HKD).

Published on the Telegraph’s website on the 18th of September 2015 Source

1.5- Enertime values the waste heat from industrial

The French start-up Enertime has created an ideal machine for the industry, able to produce about 1 MW of electricity at competitive prices, using non-flammable and non-toxic fluids. As the result, Enertime delivered lately a 1 MW turbine to FMGC (the first Chinese steelmaker in Shanghai) and plan to build another 3.2 MW soon. Today Enertime company has 22 people.

Published on "L’usine Nouvelle"’s website on the 20th of September 2015 []


2- Health & Society

2.1- First-ever in vitro human spermatogenesis

The French start-up Kallistem has achieved a world first by obtaining complete human spermatozoa in vitro, using tissue specimens collected from infertile men. The company, which stems from research carried out at the “Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle” in Lyon (CNRS/INRA/Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1), has developed a cell therapy technology that enables the differentiation of germinal stem cells to produce morphologically normal spermatozoa outside the body. This technology has been the subject of a patent published in June 2015, and was presented at a press conference on 17 September 2015, in Lyon (France).

Published on the INRA’s website on the 17st of September 2015 Source

2.2- Decision-making involves a little known brain region

When faced with a change to our environment, we have to make appropriate decisions, which usually involve the orbitofrontal cortex. Yet unexpectedly, scientists at the “Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d’Aquitaine (INCIA, CNRS/Université de Bordeaux)” have discovered that a brain region located in the thalamus also plays a crucial role in using these evolved skills. Tested in the rat, this work is published in The Journal of Neuroscience, on 23 September 2015.

Published on the CNRS’s website on the 22th of September 2015 source

2.3- First environmental database on electronic waste

Eco-systems and Récylum, supported by ADEME (French environment and energy management Agency), launched an innovative collaborative project: the creation of the first environmental database dedicated to the end of life of electrical and electronic equipment. This data will give relevant information to producers to assess the environmental impacts of their products as part of their eco-design approach.

Published on the’s website on the 07th of September 2015 Source

2.4- A scenario that reconciles the Earth with its origins

Researchers from the Magmas and Volcanoes’ Laboratory at CNRS and the “Université Blaise Pascal” from Clermont-Ferrand believe they have at last solved a long-standing puzzle. Scientists were unable to understand why there were differences between the chemical compositions of our planet and a class of meteorites called enstatite chondrites, which are thought to be remains of the primordial material from which the Earth was formed. The work is published in the Journal Nature Communications on 23 September 2015.

Article published on the CNRS’s website on the 23rd of September 2015 Source

2.5- Scientific mission GHASS

From 15 to 30 September 2015, as part of the scientific mission GHASS forty geologists and chemists will study the dynamics of methane hydrates, aboard the research vessel “Pourquoi pas ?” .The study area is located in the heart of the Black Sea not far away from the Romanian city of Constanta. The campaign is conducted by Ifremer in collaboration with German researchers (GEOMAR), Romanian (GeoEcoMar), Norwegian (NGI) and Spanish (University of Barcelona).

Article published on IFREMER’s website on the 21st of September 2015 Source


3- Research and Education

3.1- « Que reste-t-il a découvrir ? » more than one hundred researchers will meet on the next forum organised by the CNRS

For its third edition, the Forum CNRS " Que reste-t-il a découvrir ? will be devoted to climate change ahead of the COP21. On the 13th and 14th of November 2015 in Paris, the public will interact with one hundred researchers about the prediction of climate change, its consequences for our planet and about innovative solutions that can be implemented to limit its impact. Round tables and debates with French experts and researchers will take place.

Published on the CNRS website on the 22nd of September 2015 : - Source

3.2- "Climate Change and Health: a workshop organized by the IRD at UN summit

To mark the special summit on sustainable development, held at United Nations Headquarters from the 25th to the 27th of September 2015, the Research Institute for Development (IRD) is organizing a workshop on climate change and its impacts on health.

Published on the IRD’s website on the 22nd of September 2015 : - Source


4- Technology & Transport

4.1- Two French projects on the podium of the Global Schindler Award 2015

The Global Schindler Award, is one of the few international competition for urban planning oriented students. This year, the contest offered participants the opportunity to develop new innovative ideas to develop the urban mobility in the city of Shenzhen, which has become problematic because of its 10 million inhabitants.
On the 12 projects selected by the jury, Spain is third, China second and France took the victory thanks to Mathieu Sabatier and Matthew Cheng Zhang, two students from the National School of Architecture of Grenoble.

Published on "Le petit journal de Hong Kong"’s website on 07th of August 2015 : - Source

4.2- Peugeot will propose an autonomous car in 2020

2020 could be the year of the autonomous car. After Google and Renault-Nissan, Peugeot has recently released the same deadline for the launch of its first autonomous car. Before that, the company intends to introduce its first semi-autonomous car that can handle some trips or maneuver without driver intervention.

Published on the Futura Science’s website on 19th of August 2015 : - Source

publié le 08/10/2015

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