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Toute l'actus du CNRS
  1. Highest-energy cosmic rays have extragalactic origin
    A 50-year-old debate has at last been settled: the highest-energy cosmic rays do not originate in our own Galaxy but in galaxies located tens or even hundreds of millions of light years away. The evidence comes from the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina, which has been gathering data since 2004 about these particles that constantly bombard the Earth. The CNRS is the observatory's principal French funding agency. The discovery is published in the journal Science dated 22 September 2017 by an international collaboration including researchers from the Institut de Physique Nucléaire d'Orsay (CNRS/Université Paris-Sud), the Laboratoire de Physique Nucléaire et des Hautes Énergies (CNRS/UPMC/Université Paris Diderot) and the Laboratoire de Physique Subatomique et de Cosmologie (CNRS/Université Grenoble Alpes/Grenoble INP).
  2. Synaptic receptor mobility:discovery of a new mechanism for controlling memory
    Researchers in Bordeaux recently discovered a new mechanism for storing information in synapses and a means of controlling the storage process. The breakthrough moves science closer to unveiling the mystery of the molecular mechanisms of memory and learning processes. The research, carried out primarily by researchers at the Interdisciplinary Institute for Neurosciences (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux) and the Bordeaux Imaging Center (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux/Inserm)1, appears in the 13 september 2017 edition of Nature.
  3. Magnetic cellular “Legos” for the regenerative medicine of the future
    By incorporating magnetic nanoparticles in cells and developing a system using miniaturized magnets, researchers at the Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes (CNRS/Université Paris Diderot), in collaboration with the Laboratoire Adaptation Biologique et Vieillissement (CNRS/UPMC) and the Centre de Recherche Cardiovasculaire de Paris (Inserm/Université Paris Descartes), have succeeded in creating cellular magnetic “Legos.” They were able to aggregate cells using only magnets and without an external supporting matrix, with the cells then forming a tissue that can be deformed at will. This approach, which is detailed in Nature Communications on September 12, 2017, could prove to be a powerful tool for biophysical studies, as well as the regenerative medicine of tomorrow.
  4. Animal welfare: Potential new indicator of chronic stress in horses
    Cortisol is generally considered to be a stress hormone because its levels rise during episodes of acute stress. Yet its relationship to chronic stress is less clear. Researchers from the Éthologie Animale et Humaine laboratory (CNRS / Université de Rennes 1 /Université of Caen) and the Research Institute for Environmental and Occupational Health (INSERM /Université de Rennes 1), in collaboration with the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, have linked lower cortisol levels to states of chronically poor welfare in adult horses observed under their usual living conditions. Their findings are published in PLOS ONE (September 8, 2017).
  5. European XFEL: Europe's next-generation free-electron laser
    The faster, more powerful European XFEL free-electron laser1 was inaugurated on September 1, 2017, near Hamburg, Germany. By producing ultra-bright, trillion-photon X-ray flashes at a frequency two hundred times greater than the best preexisting free-electron lasers (FELs), this next-generation European instrument will allow scientists to map the atomic relief of viruses, decipher the molecular composition of cells, create 3-D images of the nanoworld, and even film chemical reactions. Eleven countries helped build the XFEL, at a cost of €1.2 billion