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Toute l'actus du CNRS
  1. Unsaddling old theory on origin of horses
    Botai horses were tamed in Kazakhstan 5,500 years ago and thought to be the ancestors of today's domesticated horses . . . until a team led by researchers from the CNRS and Université Toulouse III–Paul Sabatier sequenced their genome. Their findings published on 22 February 2018 in Science are startling: these equids are the progenitors not of the modern domesticated horse, but rather of Przewalski's horses—previously presumed wild!
  2. Rock art: Life-sized sculptures of dromedaries found in Saudi Arabia
    At a remarkable site in northwest Saudi Arabia, a CNRS archaeologist1 and colleagues from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) have discovered camelid sculptures unlike any others in the region. They are thought to date back to the first centuries BC or AD.2 The find sheds new light on the evolution of rock art in the Arabian Peninsula and is the subject of an article published in Antiquity (February 2018).
  3. Towards a better prediction of solar eruptions
    Just one phenomenon may underlie all solar eruptions, according to researchers from the CNRS, École Polytechnique, CEA and INRIA1 in an article featured on the cover of the February 8 issue of Nature magazine. They have identified the presence of a confining 'cage' in which a magnetic rope2 forms, causing solar eruptions. It is the resistance of this cage to the attack of the rope that determines the power and type of the upcoming flare. This work has enabled the scientists to develop a model capable of predicting the maximum energy that can be released during a solar flare, which could have potentially devastating consequences for the Earth.
  4. Tara Oceans: discovery of over 100 million genes from the marine world.
    The Tara Oceans expedition (2009-2013) has enabled the collection of plankton samples in all of the world's oceans on board the schooner Tara, and the creation of catalogues of species and genes on a scale never before undertaken. Continuing the analysis and exploitation of the biggest database compiled on the planktonic ecosystem, the teams from the CEA, CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research), EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory) and the French graduate school ENS, among others1, have just reached a new milestone by analysing the expression of over 100 million genes belonging to complex organisms, from microscopic algae to small planktonic animals. These teams have demonstrated that very different genes express themselves depending on the water temperature or the concentration in nutrients of the oceanic areas studied. Half of these genes are unknown, indicating that the ocean - which is already a marvellous breeding ground of biodiversity - harbours, at the same time, an enormous potential of genetic functions awaiting discovery. By using isolation and characterisation methods of isolated cells, the researchers have, more specifically, been able to explore the role of the genes present in a little-studied, uncultivated but very abundant compartment of the plankton - the first link in a long food chain. These results are the subject of two articles published in the journal Nature Communications on 22 and 25 January 2018.
  5. Antoine Petit named Chairman and CEO of the CNRS
    Antoine Petit has been named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CNRS. His appointment was confirmed on January 24, 2018, by French president Emmanuel Macron upon the recommendation of Frédérique Vidal, Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation. An exceptional grade professor, Antoine Petit was president of the French National Institute for Computer Science and Applied Mathematics (Inria) since October 2014. He acts as non-executive president of the IHEST (Institut des Hautes Etudes pour la Science et la Technologie) since April 2017.
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