Scientific Letter - December 2012

Scientific letter - Bonjour Southeast

Scientific letter - Bonjour Southeast

December 2012

Southeast France Events To Know Picture


-- width='35' height='25' />Edito


Dear friends,

This month, the French American collaboration between CNRS and Georgia Institute of Technology presented some great results on graphene, in a paper published in Nature Physics, showing production semiconductor nano-graphene ribbons.

You will also learn in this month’s newsletter that researchers from Duke university are still improving their invisibility cloak, while French scientists developed a “sonar vision” system that enables people who are blind from birth to perceive the shape of a face, a house or even words and letters.

I wish you Happy Holidays.

Have a good reading,

Juliane Halftermeyer, Deputy Scientific Attaché in Life Sciences


-- width='35' height='25' />Sciences in the Southeast USA


Scientific news from the Southeast USA

- Risk of fatal heart disease higher among black men, women, University of Alabama at Birmingham (AL), 11/05/2012. GIF
Despite treatment advances for coronary heart disease over the past 20 years, black men and women still have twice the risk of fatal coronary heart disease compared with white men and women, according to this study
>> Learn more

- Head-to-head trial of two diabetes drugs yields mixed results, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NC), 11/06/2012. GIF
Daily injections of liraglutide were slightly more effective than weekly injections of exenatide in lowering blood sugar and promoting weight loss. However, patients had fewer negative side effects on exenatide once weekly.
>> Learn more

- New study describes perils of delivering anti-malarial drugs through private sector, University of Florida (FL), 11/08/2012. GIF
Getting high-quality anti-malarial drugs to people in places like Zanzibar and Mozambique is a tricky business.
A 2009 program, called the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria, or AMFm, tried to do it by giving subsidies directly to drug manufacturers, but critics are now saying that the program has promoted dangerous misuse of these expensive medications.
>> Learn more

- Corals Attacked by Toxic Seaweed Use Chemical 911 to Summon Help, Georgia Institute of Technology (GA), 11/08/2012. GIF
Corals under attack by toxic seaweed do what anyone might do when threatened – they call for help. A study reported this week in the journal Science shows that threatened corals send signals to fish “bodyguards” that quickly respond to trim back the noxious alga – which can kill the coral if not promptly removed.
>> Learn more

- UNC, Vanderbilt discover a new live vaccine approach for SARS and novel coronaviruses, Vanderbilt University (TN), 11/12/2012. GIF
Rapid mutation has long been considered a key to viral adaptation to environmental change. But in the case of the coronavirus responsible for deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), accelerating the rate of mutations cripples the virus’s ability to cause disease in animals.
>> Learn more

- Making a Better Invisibility Cloak, Duke University (NC), 11/12/2012. GIF
The first functional "cloaking" device reported by Duke University electrical engineers in 2006 worked like a charm, but it wasn’t perfect. Now a member of that laboratory has developed a new design that ties up one of the major loose ends from the original device.
>> Learn more

- Nature study reveals loss of essential blood cell gene leads to anemia, University of Georgia (GA), 11/13/2012. GIF
Scientists have discovered a new gene that regulates heme synthesis in red blood cell formation. Heme is the deep-red, iron-containing component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood.
>> Learn more

- New Alzheimer’s risk gene identified, Emory University (GA), 11/15/2012. GIF
Researchers have identified a new genetic variation that confers an increased risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The new variant increases risk by about a factor of three, an effect that is similar in size to that of the most common genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s, ApoE E4. However, the new variant is more rare: it is found in one in every 160 people in Iceland, compared to more than 17 percent of the population for Apo E4 and higher in other countries.
>> Learn more

- Unexpected Microbes Fighting Harmful Greenhouse Gas, University of Tennessee at Knoxville (TN), 11/21/2012. GIF
The environment has a more formidable opponent than carbon dioxide. Another greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide, is 300 times more potent and also destroys the ozone layer each time it is released into the atmosphere through agricultural practices, sewage treatment, and fossil fuel combustion.
>> Learn more

- UCF Optics Researchers Demonstrate New Model of Living Matter, University of Central Florida (FL), 11/27/2012. GIF
Understanding the complexity of some natural phenomena – such as dynamics of cells, swarming of bacteria, or motion of animal groups – long has been hindered by the lack of simple and pertinent experimental models. Now, researchers have demonstrated an “all-optical’ model of living matter.
>> Learn more


-- width='35' height='25' />Sciences in France


Scientific news from France

- Greenland rocks provide evidence of Earth formation process, also available in French, CNRS, Université Blaise Pascal, IRD, 10/31/2012. GIF GIF
Rocks dating back 3.4 billion years from south-west Greenland’s Isua mountain range have yielded valuable information about the structure of the Earth during its earliest stages of development. In these rocks, which witnessed the first billion years of Earth’s history, researchers have highlighted a lack of neodymium-142, an essential chemical element for the study of the Earth’s formation.
>> Learn more

- New bacteria to fight against intestinal inflammation also available in French, CPTP Inserm, Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier, CNRS, 10/31/2012. GIF GIF
French scientists have recently succeeded in producing “beneficial bacteria” capable of protecting the body against intestinal inflammation. This protection is provided by a human protein, Elafin, which is artificially introduced into dairy produce bacteria (Lactococcus lactis and Lactobacillus casei).
>> Learn more

- The HOIL1 gene – the cause of a new rare disease, also available in French, CNRS, Institut Pasteur, Inserm, 11/06/2012. GIF GIF
Researchers have succeeded in identifying the part played by the HOIL1 gene in cases of paradoxal association of an immune deficiency with a chronic autoinflammatory deficiency and a muscular deficiency in 3 children from 2 different families. This study once more highlights the importance of genetics in the body’s response to infectious agents.
>> Learn more

- A sonar vision system for the congenitally blind, also available in French, CEA, Inserm, UPMC, AP-HP, 11/12/2012. GIF GIF
A “sonar vision” system that enables people who are blind from birth to perceive the shape of a face, a house or even words and letters, is being developed. Using this device, the researchers have shown that, in people that are blind from birth, the areas of the cerebral cortex normally devoted to reading become activated in response to stimulation.
>> Learn more

- Pig Genome Offers Insights into the Feistiest of Farm Animals, also available in French, Inra, 11/14/2012. GIF GIF
A new genomic analysis reveals some new, unexpected and potentially beneficial similarities between pigs and humans, along with a few distinct differences. The International Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium, launched in 2003 in Jouy-en-Josas and led by American and European researchers, conducted the most thorough genomic study yet conducted of the domestic pig and its wild boar counterparts.
>> Learn more

- A new factor of genetic susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease discovered through a study of a rare disease, also available in French, Inserm, Institut Pasteur Lille, Université Lille Nord de France, 11/15/2012. GIF GIF
A large-scale international study involving French researchers has just discovered a gene for susceptibility to a rare disease that causes susceptibility to a common one, Alzheimer’s disease, providing evidence of the heterogeneous aetiology of Alzheimer’s disease.
>> Learn more

- History of porpoises from the Black Sea reconstructed using genetics (only in French), Museum national d’Histoire naturelle, CNRS, Universités Paris Diderot et Paris-Sud, 11/19/2012. GIF
Over the past five decades, overexploitation of fish stocks and hunting small cetaceans led porpoises from the Black Sea at the edge of extinction. Previous studies have suggested that the decline of Black Sea’s predators between 1960 and 1980 constituted the major part of the loss of resilience of the Black Sea’s ecosystem, but to highlight the importance of the decline of these predators.
>> Learn more (only in French)

- A major advance in microelectronics : production of semiconductor nano-graphene ribbons (only in French), CNRS, Georgia Institute of Technology, 11/19/2012. GIF
Graphene, two-dimensional crystal composed of a single layer of carbon atoms, has properties very promising for electronics. However, to realize these potential applications, it was necessary to obtain a semi-conductive form of this material. Eight years after its discovery, this is done through the work of a French-American team.
>> Learn more (only in French)

- Risky business: drought stretches tree plumbing to its limits, also available in French, Inra, 11/21/2012. GIF GIF
Beneath the bark of world’s trees pulses a finely tuned vascular system that transports billions of litres of water to the skies every day. This plant hydraulic system depends on a unique but unstable mechanism that is continuously challenged by environmental stress. Researchers has found that most trees, even those in rainforests, operate very close to their hydraulic safety threshold leaving them highly vulnerable to droughts of increased severity.
>> Learn more


-- width='35' height='25' />Events



Emory University (Atlanta)
- December, 4th, 12:00 to 1:00pm
‘Chemical Tools to Monitor and Manipulate the Proteome’
- December, 11th, 12:00 to 1:00pm
‘Specialized Synapses Compute Visual Information in the Retina’
- December, 18th, 12:00 to 1:00pm
‘Flies with Sunburn: Modeling Pain Sensitization in Drosophila Larvae’
Georgie Institute of Technology (Atlanta)
- December, 3rd, 3:00 to 4:00pm
‘How Astrophysical Black Holes Shine’
- December, 18th, 9:00am to 4:00pm
‘4th Annual Magnetic Resonance Workshop at Georgia Tech’


University of Florida (Gainseville)
- December, 7-8
‘Interdisciplinary Workshop on Smart Grid Design & Implementation’

North Carolina

Duke University (Duke)
- December, 13th, 9:30 to 10:20am
‘Getting Hitched: How Papillomaviruses Persist’
- December, 13th, 11:10am to 12:00pm
‘Genetic and Genomic Views of CMV’
- December, 17th, 10:00am to 11:00am
‘Cancer metabolism: Approaches, Insights, and Opportunities’


University of Tennessee-Health Science Center (Memphis)
- December, 8th, 7:00am to 4:30pm
‘16th Annual Clinical Update’
University of Tennessee (Knoxville)
- December, 11th, 10:00am to 4:00pm
‘MATLAB Seminar from MathWorks’
Vanderbilt University (Nashville)
- December, 7th, 8:30am to 10:00am
‘Nashville Promise Neighborhood: How Research is Playing a Central Role’
- December, 12th , 3:00 to 5:00pm
‘1st Surgery & Engineering Symposium’


University of Alabama (Birmingham)
- December, 7th, 8:30am to 3:30pm
‘UAB Epigenetics Symposium’


-- width='35' height='25' />Good to Know


Chateaubriand Fellowships: Call for 2013-2014

The Chateaubriand Fellowship program is designed for doctoral students enrolled in an American university who wish to conduct part of their doctoral research in a French laboratory for a 4 to 9 month period.
All STEM and Health disciplines are eligible.
The deadline for applications is February 1, 2013, for a stay which can begin from September 1, 2013 to April 1, 2014.
>>More information and registration GIF

Call for Partner University Fund (PUF) Grants: 2013-2014

The Embassy of France to the United States and the FACE Foundation are accepting application proposals for the Partner University Fund (PUF). PUF promotes innovative collaborations in research and education between French and American institutions of higher education.
PUF supports emerging transatlantic partnerships with the potential to continue beyond the initial 3 year grant. Partnerships may combine elements such as:
- Joint initiatives in research and publications
- Faculty and postdoctoral mobility
- Collaboration in teaching
- Shared programs
- Joint and dual degrees at the master’s and PhD levels.

Projects must be jointly submitted by at least one American and one French university.

Project proposals must be submitted by January 7, 2013.
>>Learn more, also available in French GIF GIF
>>For more information and application instructions, or contact /+1 212 439 1463.


-- width='35' height='25' />Picture of the Month


Happy Holidays!

Dr. Donna Beer Stolz, University of Pittsburgh, USA / Nikon Small World
Mammalian cell collage stained for various proteins and organelles, assembled into a wreath (200–2000x)

The entire team of the French Consulate wishes to extend a warm holiday greeting to all of you!

Edited by Juliane Halftermeyer, Deputy Scientific Attaché in Life Sciences, designed by Clémentine Bernon, Deputy Cultural Attaché
(c) Consulate General of France in Atlanta
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Last modified on 03/12/2012

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