Scientific Letter - March 2012

Scientific letter - Bonjour Southeast

Scientific letter - Bonjour Southeast

March 2012

Southeast France Events To Know Picture


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


Dear Friends,

In February, 5,700 researchers have joined a boycott of Elsevier, a leading publisher of science journals, in a growing furor over open access to the fruits of scientific research. One of Duke’s most prominent scientists has joined a protest against a leading academic publisher, adding her name to a growing list on campus and at universities elsewhere.

If you were drinking diet sodas hoping that they don’t have the same effect as sodas, a University of Miami study showed that they increase vascular risks. Taking care of your health, another study, from Duke University, found nutrition labels make some food less healthy.

Also, the project "Océanomics" extension of the scientific expedition "Tara-Oceans", that had a call in Savannah, and led the first global study of marine plankton, has been selected to receive the "Big Loan" (or "Grand emprunt"), announced the Minister of Higher Education and Research, Laurent Wauquiez.

The Office for Science and Technology at the Embassy of France in the United States offers a full-time job as secretary to be filled from 15 March 2012. For more details click here.

Have a good reading!

Johanna Ferrand, Deputy Scientific Attaché in Life Sciences


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


Scientific news from the Southeast USA

- New Resource Offered to North Carolinians Living with HIV, Duke University (NC), 02/14/2012. GIF
The Duke Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research (CHPIR) is one of three collaborators on a new North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services initiative to improve access to information and treatment for people living with HIV in North Carolina. Studies estimate as many as 28,000 North Carolinians are unaware they have HIV.
>> Learn more

- Gene therapy for epilepsy could stop seizures, UF researchers say, University of Florida (FL), 02/14/2012. GIF
Sparking production of a hormone in the brain that people with epilepsy often lack could prevent debilitating seizures, University of Florida researchers have discovered.
>> Learn more

- UAHuntsville chosen by NASA to launch satellite, The University of Alabama in Huntsville (AL), 02/16/2012. GIF
The University of Alabama in Huntsville is one of 33 universities across the nation selected by NASA to fly a small satellite aboard rockets scheduled to launch in 2013 and 2014.
>> Learn more

- Brain imaging differences evident at 6 months in infants who develop autism , the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NC), 02/17/2012. GIF
A new study led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found significant differences in brain development starting at age 6 months in high-risk infants who later develop autism, compared to high-risk infants who did not develop autism.
>> Learn more

- Can Braille be faster than QWERTY? App developer thinks so, CNN & Georgia Tech (GA), 02/20/2012. GIF
If Mario Romero has his way, we’ll all be learning Braille soon.
The post-doc researcher at Georgia Institute of Technology has co-developed an app, called BrailleTouch, that could help blind people send text messages and type e-mails on touch-screen smartphones without the need for expensive, extra equipment.
>> Learn more

Love, not nags, may help smokers quit, Winship Cancer Institute expert says
, Emory University (GA), 02/23/2012. GIF
If you want a loved one to stop smoking and you feel tempted to nag, you may want to try to extinguish your impulse. You might be doing more harm than good, a Winship Cancer Institute expert says. Reinforce positively and try not to nag, advises Carla Berg, a member of Winship’s Cancer Prevention and Control program and a professor in the Rollins School of Public Health. And, remember that your role as a loved one to help a non-smoker quit is very important, Berg says.
>> Learn more


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


Scientific news from France

- MYRTE or How to Store Solar Energy as Hydrogen also available in French, e-Tech France, 02/03/2012. GIF GIF
This January 9, at the Centre de Recherches Scientifiques Georges Peri (Georges Peri Center for Scientific Research), University of Corsica, the Renewable Hydrogen Mission for Integration into the Electric Grid platform was inaugurated.
>> Learn more

- Georgia Tech invited to participate in French-American parliamentary symposium, Georgia Tech (GA), 02/06/2012. GIF
Georgia Tech’s Vice Provost for International Initiatives Steve McLaughlin has been invited to address the French National Assembly in Paris on February 7.
McLaughlin’s presentation will be part of the inaugural French-American Parliamentary meetings symposium that will focus on strengthening community, educational and university cooperation between the two countries.
>> Learn more

- A novel, reliable and rapid method for detecting living bacteria, CNRS, 02/09/2012. GIF
One of the major challenges in terms of microbiological quality control and public health is to be able to count and identify, both quickly and simultaneously, the bacteria living in an environment.
>> Learn more

- Shedding light on memory deficits in schizophrenic patients and healthy aged subjects , CNRS, 02/17/2011. GIF
Working memory, which consists in the short-term retention and processing of information, depends on specific regions of the brain working correctly. This faculty tends to deteriorate in patients with schizophrenia, as it does in healthy aged subjects.
Jean-Claude Dreher, senior researcher at the Centre de Neurosciences Cognitives (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1), in collaboration with an American team from the National Institute of Mental Health (Bethesda, Maryland), has shown for the first time that working memory deficits in schizophrenics and elderly subjects are accompanied by differences in prefrontal cortex activation, even though the working memory deficits are identical.
>> Learn more

- Is there a general motivation centre in the depths of the brain? also available in French, INSERM, 02/21/2012. GIF GIF
The results of an activity (physical or mental) partly depend on the efforts devoted to it, which may be incentive-motivated. For example, a sportsperson is likely to train with "increased intensity" if the result will bring social prestige or financial gain. The same can be said for students who study for their exams with the objective of succeeding in their professional career. What happens when physical and mental efforts are required to reach an objective?
>> Learn more

- BREAKING NEWS: Error Undoes Faster-Than-Light Neutrino Results, Science, 02/22/2012. GIF
It appears that the faster-than-light neutrino results, announced last September by the OPERA collaboration in Italy, was due to a mistake after all. A bad connection between a GPS unit and a computer may be to blame.
Physicists had detected neutrinos travelling from the CERN laboratory in Geneva to the Gran Sasso laboratory near L’Aquila that appeared to make the trip in about 60 nanoseconds less than light speed.
>> Learn more


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



Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta)
- March, 1st, 7 pm
’Public Night at the GT Observatory’
- March, 12th, 1-2pm, Michael Chorost
’How to Put Your Brain on the Internet: Lessons from a Cyborg’
- March, 15-18th
’Minority Faculty Development Workshop (MFDW):
Engineering Enterprise and Innovation’

Emory University (Atlanta)
- March, 1st, 12-1pm, Roger Tsien
’Breeding and Building Molecules to Spy on Cells and Disease Processes’

The University of Georgia
- March, 21st, 4pm, Cedric Feschotte
’Genomes without borders: mobile DNA, horizontal transfer, and the uncanny origins of genetic novelty’
- March, 7th, 11am, Pamela Bonner Brown
’Evolution of Bacterial Cell Shape and Growth Mechanisms ’


University of Florida, Gainesville
- March, 2nd, all day
’Rheumatology, Allergy & Pain Symposium’
- March, 14th, 9am-5pm
’Autism Symposium’

University of Central Florida
- March 12th, 3pm, Alex Badyaev
’Origin of the Fittest: Investigating the Link Between Innovation and Adaptation’
- March 26th, 3pm, Corrie Moreau
’Ants, Plants, and Bacteria: A Tale of Evolutionary Diversification’

Florida International University
- March 1st and 2nd, 9am-5pm
’FIU Biomedical and Comparative Immunology Symposium’

North Carolina

North Carolina State University
- March, 1st, 3:30pm, Ed Green
’Detecting and interpreting admixture from Neandertals in current humans’

- March, 13th, 3:30pm, David Baum
’Big gene hunters: strategies for identifying the genetic basis of species differences’

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- March, 8th, 4pm, Gunnar von Heijne
’Membrane protein assembly: What are the rules?’

- March, 27th, 4-5pm, Ileana Cristea
’A Proteomic Perspective of the Dynamic Interplay between Viruses and Hosts’

Duke University
- March, 1st, 12pm, Gerry Moore
’An overview of U.S.D.A.’s National Plant Database’

>> More details concerning these events and more events following this link.


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


International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases

The conference brings together public health professionals to encourage the exchange of scientific and public health information on global emerging infectious disease issues. The program will include plenary and panel sessions with invited speakers as well as oral and poster presentations on emerging infections. Major topics to be included are current work on surveillance, epidemiology, research, communication and training, bioterrorism, and preventions and control of emerging infectious diseases, both in the United States and abroad.
It will take place in Atlanta, March 11-14.
>>Learn more GIF

David J. Sencer CDC Museum

The David J. Sencer CDC Museum is an educational facility designed to teach about CDC, public health, and the benefits of prevention.
The David J. Sencer CDC Museum is the only part of CDC open to the public. Admission and parking are free.
The museum is open Monday through Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM with hours extended on Thursday to 7 pm. The museum is closed on all federal holidays.
Current exhibitions are: The Quiet Sickness: A Photographic Chronicle of Hazardous Work in America, The Story of CDC, Global Symphony, The Messengers.
>>Learn more GIF

29th Annual Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Meeting

The purpose of this annual meeting is to determine the content of the 2013 BRFSS Survey; update attendees concerning state of the art behavioral risk factor monitoring, methodologies, and technological innovations; and provide networking opportunities for participants.

The meeting will be held March 24-27, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, Atlanta, GA.

>>Learn more GIF


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


Death of a Tumor

Illustration: E. Paul and Q. Paul, Echo Medical Media, and R. Gamble, The University of Alabama at Birmingham Insight

Green, T-shaped drug molecules fight "scary-looking, tentacled" breast cancer cells in an image that earned Emiko Paul of Echo Medical Media an honorable mention in the illustrations category.

The drug—called TRA-8—locks into the cancer cells’ "death receptors," so that the cells eventually die, Paul said via email.

The illustration—based on photos of real breast cancer cells—shows how scientists are working on drugs to kill off only the cancer, leaving healthy cells alone, he said.

"The image was created to evoke a feeling of War of the Worlds, with the fight against breast cancer being waged by novel weapons like TRA-8."

This picture has been published on the National Geographic website, if you want to see the Best Science Pictures of 2011, please click here.

Edited by Johanna Ferrand, 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 01/03/2012

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