Scientific Letter - January 2013

Scientific letter - Bonjour Southeast

Scientific letter - Bonjour Southeast

January 2013

Southeast France Events To Know Picture


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


Dear friends,

I am glad to announce that in 2013 the European Science Café will be back beginning on January 29th. During those events a consulate invites a European scientist to give a talk, followed by a discussion with the public around some refreshments. For the first 2013 European Science Café, Nicolas Florsch will talk about Mining engineers in the sixteenth century (in Europe).

In this month newsletter, you will discover that scientists are still hardly working on diabetes. Both French and American researchers are trying to understand mechanisms leading to the apparition of this disease and to find treatments.

I hope you had a great 2012 year, and I wish you all the best for this new year!

Have a good reading, and don’t forget the deadlines for the Chateaubriand and PUF fellowship!

Juliane Halftermeyer, Deputy Scientific Attaché in Life Sciences


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


Scientific news from the Southeast USA

- Mosquitoes as involuntary bioterrorists, Vanderbilt University (TN), 11/29/2012. GIF
Recent research, has revealed that mosquitoes have surprisingly sophisticated immune systems. Unlike humans and most other animals, mosquitoes do not generate antibodies that identify and attack specific infectious agents. However, they have developed alternative methods for destroying various pathogens, including parasites that cause malaria.
>> Learn more

- UT Researchers Find Fungus Has Cancer-Fighting Power, University of Tennessee – Knoxville (TN), 12/04/2012. GIF
Zhang and his team have discovered that nanoparticles produced by A. oligospora hold promise for stimulating the immune system and killing tumors.
>> Learn more

- Certain mutations give HIV infection an advantage that sticks, Emory University (GA), 12/05/2012. GIF
Varieties of HIV that replicate more quickly can cause infected individuals’ immune systems to decline faster, new research demonstrates.
>> Learn more

- Silver Nanocubes Super Light Absorbers, Duke University (NC), 12/06/2012. GIF
Microscopic metallic cubes could unleash the enormous potential of metamaterials to absorb light, leading to more efficient and cost-effective large-area absorbers for sensor applications or energy-harvesting devices.
>> Learn more

- Carbon Nanotubes Lower Nerve-Damaging Chloride in Cells, Duke University (TN), 12/10/2012. GIF
A nanomaterial engineered by researchers at Duke can help regulate chloride levels in nerve cells that contribute to chronic pain, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.
>> Learn more

- Understanding pancreas size may help unlock cause of Type 1 diabetes, University of Florida (FL), 12/11/2012. GIF
People at risk for Type 1 diabetes may have fewer insulin-producing “beta” cells than people not at risk, a finding that could help researchers shed light on what causes the disease. This study revealed that people at risk for Type 1 diabetes had smaller pancreases than people who were not at risk.
>> Learn more

- UGA researchers find algal ancestor is key to how deadly pathogens proliferate, University of Georgia (GA), 12/12/2012. GIF
Long ago, when life on Earth was in its infancy, a group of small single-celled algae propelled themselves through the vast prehistoric ocean by beating whip like tails called flagella. It’s a relatively unremarkable tale, except that now, more than 800 million years later, these organisms have evolved into parasites that threaten human health, and their algal past in the ocean may be the key to stopping them.
>> Learn more

- UAB research shows Type 2 diabetes remission is possible through diet, exercise, University of Alabama (AL), 12/20/2012. GIF
Intensive lifestyle interventions, including diet and exercise, have the potential to put Type 2 diabetes into remission and eliminate the need for medication in some cases.
>> Learn more

- MSU researcher’s cotton genome work published in Nature, Mississippi State University (MI), 12/20/2012. GIF
A Mississippi State University researcher is part of an international team that has described the first "gold-standard" genome sequence for cotton.
>> Learn more

- ’Molecular Levers’ May Make Materials Better, Duke University (NC), 12/24/2012. GIF
In a forced game of molecular tug-of war, some strings of atoms can act like a lever, accelerating reactions 1000 times faster than other molecules. The discovery suggests that scientists could use these molecular levers to drive chemical and mechanical reactivity among atoms and ultimately engineer more efficient materials.
>> Learn more


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


Scientific news from France

- Attosecond “lighthouses”: a simple method for generating isolated ultrashort pulses, also available in French, CEA-IRAMIS, LOA, CNRS, ENSTA-Paris Tech, École polytechnique, 11/28/2012. GIF GIF
Electrons move extremely rapidly inside atoms and molecules (the order of magnitude is the attosecond, i.e. 10-18 of a second). One way to observe these phenomena is to use isolated ultrashort pulses of light, which are successfully characterized at this time scale. As demonstrated by researchers, there is a particularly well-adapted light source that can be used to carry out such research into how matter behaves.
>> Learn more

- The radical restructuring of brain networks in comatose patients, also available in French, Inserm, CNRS, Université Joseph Fourier de Grenoble, 11/29/2012. GIF GIF
Researchers have analysed data from 17 comatose patients using functional MRI data. Their research reveals that the brain networks of these patients have been restructured.
>> Learn more

- Planetary rings may be at the origin of the solar system satellites (only in French), Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, Université Paris Diderot, CEA, 11/30/2012. GIF
Two French researchers recently proposed the first model explaining the origin of the vast majority of regular satellites of our solar system from planetary rings.
>> Learn more (only in French)

- Influenza Virus: A New Universal Therapeutic Strategy, also available in French, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, INRA, 12/03/2012. GIF GIF
Dr Béatrice Riteau and her team have discovered a molecule that counteracts the deleterious effects of the immune response and inflammation in the lung when infected with influenza virus.
>> Learn more

- Improving chemotherapy effectiveness by acting on the immune system, also available in French, Inserm, 112/03/2012. GIF GIF
An Inserm team is to publish an article suggesting that two chemotherapy drugs frequently used to treat digestive and breast cancers may encourage the development of tumours by modulating the anti-tumoural immune response. These results reveal how the immune system can then limit the effectiveness of some cancer chemotherapies.
>> Learn more

- Plants have the sense of straightness! (only in French), Inra, CNRS, 12/05/2012. GIF
At every moment, plants perform imperceptible movements that allow them to remain standing. They are indeed subject to the dual challenge of gravity and wind, and they can stay straight only through an active control. For the first time, researchers at INRA and CNRS showed that upright habit does not result from the mere perception of gravity: the plants must also perceive their own curvature and correct it.
>> Learn more (only in French)

- Microbicide gel blocks infection by the AIDS virus in preclinical research, also available in French, CEA, Université Paris-Sud, CNRS, 12/07/2012. GIF GIF
The efficacy of a microbicide gel in blocking infection by the AIDS virus has been demonstrated in a primate model. In this gel, small peptides trap the virus by mimicking its receptor on the surface of its target cells: the CD4 molecule. These results provide the proof-of-principle necessary prior to clinical trials.
>> Learn more

- A promising clinical trial to reduce the severity of autistic disorders, also available only in French, Inserm, 12/11/2012. GIF GIF
Researchers recently published the results of a double-blind clinical trial to evaluate the usefulness of a diuretic in the treatment of autism. Sixty children between 3 and 11 years old with autism or Asperger’s syndrome were treated for 3 months either with a diuretic to reduce their intracellular chloride levels or with a placebo. Although this therapy is not curative, it nevertheless reduced the autistic disorders’ severity in three-quarters of the children.
>> Learn more

- The role of the innate immune cells in the development of Type 1 diabetes, also available in French, Inserm, Université Paris Descartes, 12/18/2012. GIF GIF
Type 1 diabetes is a disease characterised by the self-destruction of the p pancreatic cells that produce insulin. The researchers reveal the role of the innate immune cells, especially the dendritic cells, that cause the activation of the killer T-lymphocytes whose action is directed against the p pancreatic cells. The results obtained in mice make it possible to consider new ways of regulating the auto-immune reaction generated by the innate immune cells.
>> Learn more

- Reproducing and understanding evolution of bacteria in a test tube (only in French), LAPM, CNRS, Université Joseph Fourier-Grenoble, CEA, IG-Evry, 12/20/2012. GIF
The ability of bacteria to produce mutations, and thus to adapt, evolves according to their environment and their level of adaptation. Mutations in the genome of the bacteria are involved in their adaptive capacity and are, for example, responsible for the emergence of bacteria which are multi-resistant to antibiotics or bacterial pathogens responsible for nosocomial infections. Understanding the evolution of mechanisms that control the appearance of mutations is therefore essential to improve the fight against these microorganisms.
>> Learn more (only in French)


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



Consulate general of France (Atlanta)
- January, 29th, 5:30 pm
‘European Science Café : Highly Advanced Mining Techniques in 16th-Century Europe’
Emory University (Atlanta)
- January, 8th, 4:00 pm
‘Lecture by 2011 Nobel Laureate Bruce Beutler’
- January, 15th, 5:00 to 6:00pm
‘Educational Implications of a Changing Clinical Future: Future Makers Lecture Series’
- January, 17th, 7:00 to 8:00am
‘Joseph M. Craver Visiting Teacher Lectureship: The "Quality Movement" in Cardiac Surgery — The Michigan Experience’
Georgie Institute of Technology (Atlanta)
- January, 14th, 12:00 to 1:00pm
‘Manufacturing Brown Bag Seminar: Michael Bak, The Coca-Cola Company’
- January , 25th, 4:00 to 5:00pm
‘Georgia Tech-COPE Distinguished Lecture Series - René Janssen’


Florida International university (Miami)
- January, 18th, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
‘Coastal Carnivores’
- January, 23rd, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
‘Balancing fresh water needs of humans and ecosystems’

North Carolina

Duke University (Duke)
- January, 9th, 12:00 to 1:00pm
‘Visualizing Cancer Metabolism as it happens with Hyperpolarized Magnetic Resonance’
- January, 23rd, 12:00 to 1:00pm
‘Regulation of cell survival during morphogenesis and oncogenesis’
- January, 24th, 1:00 to 7:00pm
‘6th Annual Global Health Lecture and Research Seminar’
North Carolina A&T (Greensboro)
- January, 28th to 30th
‘11th Annual Ronald E. McNair Research Symposium’


University of Tennessee (Knoxville)
- January, 15th, 7:30 to 9:00pm
‘Foragers & Farmers in East TN: What Archaeological Plant Remains Can Tell Us About Prehistoric Lifeways’
Vanderbilt University (Nashville)
- January, 7th, 5:30 to 7:00pm
‘Proteomics for Biomarker Discovery: Cancer and Beyond’
- January, 14th , 12:00 to 12:45pm
‘Health Reform - An Unfinished Business’
- January, 15th, 10:00am to 3:30pm
‘2013 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day


University of Mississippi (Oxford)
- January, 22nd, 6:00 to 7:00pm
‘Oxford Science Cafe’: Cellular differentiation!’


-- 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


Goodbye to 2012 and Hello to 2013!

Jennifer L. Peters/Michael R. Taylor/St Jude Children’s Research Hospital/Nikon Small World
The blood-brain barrier in a live zebrafish embryo

This picture of the developing barrier in a live zebrafish embryo, taken by Jennifer Peters and Michael Taylor of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, won first prize in the Nikon Small World competition.

This is now time to say Goodbye to the year 2012 and to Welcome 2013. If you want to have a look at what happened in science in 2012, let’s have an interactive journey through 2012 in numbers or in pictures.

The entire team of the French Consulate wishes you an Happy New Year.

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 27/12/2012

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