Scientific Letter - July 2012

Scientific letter - Bonjour Southeast

Scientific letter - Bonjour Southeast

July 2012

Southeast France Events To Know Picture


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


Dear friends,

This month, the French Scientific National Research Center (CNRS) and the American Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) opened an International Joint Research Unit on MIT’s Cambridge campus, focusing on Multi-Scale Materials Science for Energy and Environmental Project.

French-American cooperation has also led to concrete results through a publication in Nature Physics of a study on graphene realized by scientists from Georgia Tech and CNRS.

In this month’s newsletter, you will learn that Duke engineers improved camera resolution, creating a camera called AWARE-2, that is 50 times better than your digital camera, while French scientists from the Pasteur Institute discovered that dormancy of stem cells enables them to remain viable many days post mortem!

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

- Alzheimer’s protein structure suggests new treatment directions, Vanderbilt University (TN), 05/31/2012. GIF
The molecular structure of a protein involved in Alzheimer’s disease – and the surprising discovery that it binds cholesterol – could lead to new therapeutics for the disease, Vanderbilt University investigators report in the June 1 issue of the journal Science.
>> Learn more

- Constructing a sling during prolapse surgery drops incontinence risk
, University of Alabama at Birmingham (AL), 06/22/2012. GIF
Research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and other medical centers published in the June 21, 2012, New England Journal of Medicine shows that adding a “midurethral sling” to lift and support the urethra during surgery to repair pelvic organ prolapse reduces the chances of developing stress urinary incontinence.
>> Learn more

- Gene inactivation drives spread of melanoma, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NC), 06/15/2012. GIF
Why do some cancers spread rapidly to other organs and others don’t metastasize? A team of UNC researchers led by Norman Sharpless, MD, have identified a key genetic switch that determines whether melanoma, a lethal skin cancer, spreads by metastasis.
>> Learn more

- Duke engineers improve camera resolution, Duke University (NC), 06/26/2012. GIF
By synchronizing 98 tiny cameras in a single device, electrical engineers from Duke University and the University of Arizona have developed a prototype camera that can create images with unprecedented detail.
>> Learn more

- Human Microbiome Project Researchers Find Vast Individual Differences in Our Bacteria, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (NC), 06/14/2012. GIF
The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) has announced first genomic compilation of the generalized biome of microbes in the human body that complement the human genome.
>> Learn more

- Promising early results from cancer immunotherapy, Emory University (GA), 06/05/2012. GIF
An distinctive approach to fighting cancer – reactivating a patient’s subdued immune system – has shown promising results in early clinical trials. Researchers working in Winship Cancer Institute’s phase I clinical trials unit played a part in this research that is receiving considerable attention.
>> Learn more

- Mosquitoes Fly in Rain Thanks to Low Mass, Georgia Institute of Technology (GA), 06/04/2012. GIF
The mosquito is possibly summer’s biggest nuisance. Sprays, pesticides, citronella candles, bug zappers — nothing seems to totally deter the blood-sucking insect. And neither can rain apparently.
>> Learn more

- Tomato sequencing project sheds light on the plant’s origins, University of Georgia (GA), 06/18/2012. GIF
Researchers in the University of Georgia Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory recently helped finish the decade-long process of sequencing the tomato genome.
>> Learn more

- Little clams play big part in keeping seagrass ecosystems healthy, new study finds, University of Florida at Gainesville (FL), 06/14/2012. GIF
That’s definitely the case for endangered and threatened seagrass ecosystems according to a new study. Little clams living in the soil of seagrass beds consume toxic sulfides that accumulate in the silty sediments and turn what should be a toxic soup into a healthy aquatic environment where communities of fish, clams and shrimp thrive.
>> Learn more

- UM Researchers Identify Gene That May Help Protect Human Nerve Cells After Injury, University of Miami (FL), 06/27/2012. GIF
Researchers from the Miller School of Medicine collaborated with an international team to identify a gene that could be suppressed to protect a person’s nerve cells after injury. Published online on June 7 in Science, their study, “dSarm/Sarm1 Is Required for Activation of an Injury-Induced Axon Death Pathway,” presents the first gene required for the active self-destruction of nerves following injury.
_ >> Learn more

- Seeping Arctic methane has serious implications for Florida coastline, Florida State University (FL), 06/27/2012. GIF
The ancient reserves of methane gas seeping from the melting Arctic ice cap told Jeff Chanton and fellow researchers what they already knew: As the permafrost thaws, there is a release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that causes climate warming.
>> Learn more


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


Scientific news from France

- Magnetic stimulation to improve visual perception, also available in French, CNRS, Inserm, UPMC, 06/01/2012. GIF GIF
Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), an international team led by researchers from the Centre de Recherche de l’Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière has succeeded in enhancing the visual abilities of a group of healthy subjects.
>> Learn more

- Bladder cancer treatment with BCG may be improved with new patient protocol, also available in French, Institut Pasteur, INSERM, Paris Descartes University and the MINES ParisTech, 06/06/2012. GIF GIF
Researchers have recently discovered a way to reinforce the effectiveness of BCG in the treatment of bladder cancer. BCG has been the standard treatment for bladder cancer tumors with a high risk of recurrence for the past 35 years.
>> Learn more

- Mimicking living organisms helps study the mechanisms of cellular contraction, also available in French, CEA, CNRS, 06/10/2012. GIF GIF
These researchers showed that motile molecules known as myosins induced selective contraction of certain intracellular structures formed by actin, a protein that is present in large quantities inside cells.
>> Learn more

- Dormancy of stem cells enables them to remain viable…many days post mortem, also available in French, Institut Pasteur, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, AP-HP, CNRS, 06/12/2012. GIF GIF
Under the direction of Fabrice Chrétien, in collaboration with Shahragim Tajbakhsh, researchers have shown for the first time in humans and mice, the capacity of stem cells to adopt a dormant state when their environment becomes hostile, including several days after death.
>> Learn more

- Self-healing dynamic membrane, also available in French, CNRS, ENSCM, Université Montpellier 2, Institut de Chimie Radicalaire , 06/18/2012. GIF GIF
The market for membranes, porous materials used mainly to filter liquids, is booming. However, their design leaves room for improvement.
>> Learn more

- Assessing an object’s consistency without touching it, also available in French, CNRS, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Université Paris-Sud, 06/18/2012. GIF GIF
Two teams of researchers have succeeded in evaluating the rigidity of a material … without touching it! To achieve this feat, physicists placed a liquid–where they created a very weak, nanometric scale flow–between the probed object and the “tester”.
>> Learn more


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



Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta)
- July, 8th-13th
’International Conference on Science and Technology of Synthetic Metals 2012’
- July, 14th, 7:00 to 8:00pm
’Hydrogen Cars, Ethanol, Wind Farms and other Silly Ideas’


University of Miami (Miami)
- July, 26th, 6:00 to 7:30pm
’Aging gracefully’

North Carolina

Duke University (Durham)
- July, 12th, 12:00-1:00pm
’ Extreme Psychiatry: Mental Health Support for American Diplomacy ’


Vanderbilt University (Nashville)
- July, 10th, 12:00 to 1:00pm
’The brain game’
- July, 22nd to 27th
’The XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012)’


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


2012 Inserm Competition : 116 Job Openings

The French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) is recruiting engineers, technicians, and administrative staff for 116 job openings. The recruitment campaign opened on June 5 and will run through July 4, 2012.
>>Learn more, also available in French GIF GIF

2012 Belmont Forum and G8 International Opportunities Fund

The International Opportunities Fund (IOF) is aimed at supporting excellent research on topics of global relevance best tackled through a multinational approach, recognising that global challenges need global solutions. Funding should support researchers to cooperate in consortia consisting of partners from at least three of the participating countries and must bring together natural scientists, social scientists and research users (policy makers, regulators, NGOs, communities and industry). The 2012 International Opportunities Fund is aimed at supporting research in the areas of: Coastal Vulnerability and Freshwater Security.
Deadline for submission of pre-proposals: Friday 20 July 2012 24h00
Deadline for submission of proposals: Thursday 20 December 2012 24h00
>>Learn more, also available in French GIF GIF

ANR-NSF Call for French-American Proposals in Chemistry and Materials Research

The ANR (The French National Research Agency) is joining the NSF (National Science Foundation) in two calls for proposals in the fields of chemistry (ICC) and materials research (MWN) as part of their Blanc International Program.
2013 French-American Program in Chemistry Research : ANR-NSF-ICC
Preliminary Proposal Deadline Date : August 1, 2012
Full Proposal Deadline Date : October 16, 2012
2013 French-American Program in Materials Research : ANR-NSF-MWN
Call for Proposals (TBC) : August 13, 2012
Proposal Deadline Date (TBC) : November 13, 2012
>>Learn more, also available in French GIF GIF

Marie-Curie Fellowship: call for proposals opened until August 16, 2012

The 2012 call for proposals for Marie-Curie Fellowships (FP7-People 2012) has been launched. These individual fellowships offer researchers of any nationality the opportunity to move abroad, within Europe and worldwide. Only experienced researchers (post-doc and beyond) are eligible, for periods of one or two years.
Applications are due before August 16, 2012 at 11:00am EST.
>>Learn more, also available in French GIF GIF


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


H5N1 bird flu

CDC/ Courtesy of Cynthia Goldsmith; Jacqueline Katz; Sherif R. Zaki
Colorized transmission electron micrograph of Avian influenza A H5N1 viruses (seen in gold) grown in MDCK cells (seen in green).

This month, the more controversial of two papers describing how the lethal H5N1 bird flu could be made easier to spread was published June 21 in Science.

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 28/06/2012

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