Scientific Letter - September 2012

Scientific letter - Bonjour Southeast

Scientific letter - Bonjour Southeast

September 2012

Southeast France Events To Know Picture


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


Dear friends,

I would like to begin this month’s newsletter by thanking Jacqueline Signorini, the Scientific Attaché at the Consulate General of France in Atlanta. After more than two years working with the Southeast scientific community, she is back to France. She will be replaced, starting September 1st, by Nicolas Florsch, who I welcome warmly.

On Monday, August 6, the NASA’s Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars. During these first few weeks on Mars, Curiosity started to take pictures and test all of the instruments on it. Two of those instruments are the result of collaboration between USA and France. France will also take part in the next American expedition on Mars, Insight.

During this time, on Planet Earth, many discoveries were made, that I let you explore reading this newsletter!

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

- Electromagnetic ’Swamps’ Don’t Always Bog Electrons Down, Duke University (NC), 08/01/2012. GIF
Scientists have designed a simple system to study how electrons travel through energy barriers instead of over them.
>> Learn more

- UCF Nanoparticle Discovery Opens Door for Pharmaceuticals, University of Central Florida (FL), 08/07/2012. GIF
What a University of Central Florida student thought was a failed experiment has led to a serendipitous discovery hailed by some scientists as a potential game changer for the mass production of nanoparticles. Soroush Shabahang, a graduate student in CREOL (The College of Optics & Photonics), made the finding that could ultimately change the way pharmaceuticals are produced and delivered.
>> Learn more

- Heart pump offers better outcomes for kids awaiting transplant, University of Alabama at Birmingham (AL), 08/08/2012. GIF
Children with heart failure who receive a ventricular assist device as a bridge to heart transplant have the best chance of surviving to transplantation, according to new research from University of Alabama at Birmingham.
>> Learn more

- Existing drugs offer new treatment options for high-risk childhood leukemia subtype, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (TN), 08/13/2012. GIF
Discovery of the genetic basis of a high-risk subtype of leukemia shows some patients might benefit from existing targeted therapies, advancing the goal of curing all children with the most common childhood cancer.
>> Learn more

- Clemson researchers make optical fibers from common materials, Clemson University (SC), 08/13/2012. GIF
Clemson researchers are taking common materials to uncommon places by transforming easily obtainable and affordable materials into fiber.
>> Learn more

- Nature Study Examines Ocean Health, University of South Florida (FL), 08/15/2012. GIF
Using a new comprehensive index designed to assess the benefits to people of healthy oceans, a team of scientists that includes USF Biological Oceanographer Kendra Daly has evaluated the ecological, social, economic and political conditions for every coastal country in the world.
>> Learn more

- Method may refine personalized trials for cancer therapy, Vanderbilt University (TN), 08/16/2012. GIF
A new tool to observe cell behavior has revealed surprising clues about how cancer cells respond to therapy, and may offer a way to further refine personalized cancer treatments.
>> Learn more

- Democracy works for Endangered Species Act, Emory University (GA), 08/16/2012. GIF
The journal Science is publishing the analysis comparing listings of "endangered" and "threatened" species initiated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency that administers the Endangered Species Act, to those initiated by citizen petition.
>> Learn more

- Study Links E. Coli Variety To Colorectal Cancer, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (NC), 08/17/2012. GIF
A significant disturbance in the human body can profoundly alter the makeup of otherwise stable microbial communities co-existing within it and that changes in the internal ecology known as the human microbiome can result in unexpected and drastic consequences for human health.
>> Learn more

- Self-Charging Power Cell Converts and Stores Energy in a Single Unit, Georgia Institute of Technology (GA), 08/21/2012. GIF
Researchers have developed a self-charging power cell that directly converts mechanical energy to chemical energy, storing the power until it is released as electrical current. By eliminating the need to convert mechanical energy to electrical energy for charging a battery, the new hybrid generator-storage cell utilizes mechanical energy more efficiently than systems using separate generators and batteries.
>> Learn more


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


Scientific news from France

- A novel eye writing device, also available in French, CNRS, UPMC, Inserm, 07/26/2012. GIF GIF
A novel device that makes it possible to draw and write using just eye movements has been developed by a CNRS researcher.
>> Learn more

- The appearance of the first cultures of modern hunter-gatherers of South Africa pushed back by 24,000 years, also available in French, CNRS, 07/27/2012. GIF GIF
When did the cultures of hunter-gatherers, similar to those still practiced today in South Africa, first emerge? Until now, it was thought that they suddenly appeared around 20,000 years ago.
>> Learn more

- When healing develops into fibrosis : ‘bad’ cells identified (only in French), Institut Pasteur, CNRS, 07/029/2012. GIF
French researchers identified, in mice, cells at the origin of certain form of fibrosis, this pathological hyper-healing that can lead to death when it reaches vital organs.
>> Learn more (only in French)

- The entomology’s grail finally discovered : the oldest complete fossil insect in the world (only in French), Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, CNRS, UPMC, 08/02/2012. GIF
An international research team discovered a complete small insect in the Strud Belgian deposit, dating from Upper Devonian (-365My). Named Strudiella, this unique fossil confirms part of results from phylogenetic reconstruction which date the appearance of first instects before Upper Devonian, probably during Silurian (-425My).
>> Learn more (only in French)

- Polymers with hydrating effect, also available in French, CEA, CNRS, Université Joseph-Fourier , 08/05/2012. GIF GIF
An international team including researchers from the CEA , the CNRS and the University Joseph-Fourier has found evidence of characteristics that enable these polymers to maintain protein activity, in just the same way that water does.
>> Learn more

- Researchers get their teeth into hominins’ diet, also available in French, CNRS, ENS Lyon, 08/07/2012. GIF GIF
What did our early ancestors the hominins eat? Fossil teeth discovered in South Africa suggest that the Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Homo genera, who lived in that region about two million years ago, adopted very different dietary habits.
>> Learn more

- When the lifestyle of a pathogenic fungus shapes its genome. (only in French), INRA, 08/16/2012. GIF
The analysis of genomes of two close species of Colletotrichum showed that evolution of those fungus towards new lifestyles shaped composition of their genome and expression of their genes.
>> Learn more (only in French)

- Enlisting the AIDS virus to fight cancer, also available in French, CNRS, 08/24/2012. GIF GIF
Can HIV be transformed into a biotechnological tool for improving human health? According to a CNRS team, the answer is yes. Taking advantage of the HIV replication machinery, the researchers have been able to select a specific mutant protein.
>> Learn more

- A new molecule with anticancer and anti-metastatic properties (only in French), CEA, CNRS, Institut Curie, Inserm, 08/28/2012. GIF
A new molecule with anticancer and anti-metastatic properties has just been discovered. This cancer drug acts on cells resistant to conventional chemotherapy thanks to a completely new mechanism. This mechanism targets both multiplication and mobility of cells thus preventing metastasis formation.
>> Learn more (only in French)


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



Georgia State University (Atlanta)
- September, 18th, 1:30pm to 2:30pm
‘How to Build a Map of the Sun’s Neighborhood Using Mathematics’
- September, 21th, 3:00 to 5:00pm
‘Neurophilosophy Forum: Robert McCauley’
Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta)
- September, 6th, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
‘Energy and Water Nexus: Critical for the 21st Century’
- September, 13th, 11:00am to 1:00pm
‘Biomaterials to Program Cells in situ’
- September, 25th, 11:00am to 12:00pm
‘Multiscale Mechanics of Fibronectin: From Matrix Molecules to Fibers’


University of Miami (Miami)
- September, 5th, 12:00 to 13:00pm
‘Wnt/Beta Catenin Signaling in Acute Injury and Chronic Disease’
- September, 6th, 18:00pm
‘Evolution’s Witness: How Eyes Evolved’
- September, 10th to 14th
‘Foundations for Translational Research Bootcamp’
- September, 28th, 13:00 to 14:00pm
‘Dendrimer-Based Targeted Nanotherapeutics for Neurodegenerative Diseases’

North Carolina

Duke University (Duke)
- September, 10th, 3:30 to 5:00pm
‘Dynamics and Impacts of Fine-Scale Climate Change: Greenhouse Forcing, Heat-waves, and Corn Price Volatility in the United States’
- September, 18th, 11:40 am to 1:00pm
‘Slow Dynamics in Macromolecular Materials: From Dense Particle Glasses and Gels to Topologically Entangled Polymers’
- September, 19th, 12:00 to 1:00pm
‘ABL family kinase signaling networks in cancer and immunity’
- September, 26th, 12:00 to 1:00pm
‘Chromatin determinants of the eukaryotic DNA replication program’
East Carolina University (Greenville)
- September, 5th, 7:00 to 8:30pm
‘Voyages of Discovery: A University Lecture Celebrating Diversity’
- September, 24th, 4:30 to 5:45pm
‘Scrofula Doctor and Musical Genius: How One Woman Healed Body and Soul in the Post-Civil War South’
North Carolina State University (Greenville)
- September, 10th, 1:30pm
‘Deciphering the Intersection of DNA Replication and Heterochromatic Silencing in Drosophila’
- September, 20th, 3:30pm
‘Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree: Ecology and Adaptive Radiation of Anoles’
- September, 24th, 1:30pm
‘Genetics of Complex Traits in the Dog: Finding Genes Controlling Morphology’
University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
- September, 11th, 4:00pm
‘Assigning sexual signals to their source : How tungara frogs solve the cocktail party problem?’
- September, 18th, 4:00pm
‘Animal flight dynamics, stability and maneuverability’
- September, 25th, 4:00pm
‘Recombination rate influences adaptation and speciation in the Drosophila pseudoobscura species group’


University of Tennessee (Memphis)
- September, 5th, 12:00 to 1:00pm
‘Transcription factors Nurr1 and Pitx3 regulate dopamine neuron development and function: Implications for Parkinson’s disease’
Vanderbilt University (Nashville)
- September, 7th, 5:30pm
‘Healthcare leaders discuss the Affordable Care Act and future of healthcare’
- September, 12th , 4:30 to 6:30pm
‘Genomes, Hype, and a Realistic Pathway to Personalized Medicine’
- September, 19th, 8:00 to 9:00am
‘Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Improving Treatment Outcomes’
- September, 20th , 4:00pm
‘Faster, Safer, Better: Thoughts on Pharmaceutical Development’
- October, 1st , 8:00am to 4:30pm
‘13th Annual Vanderbilt Genetics Symposium: Evolution and the Genetic Basis for Human Disease’


Mississippi State University (Starkville)
- September, 10th, 9:00am to 5:00pm
‘Technology Implementation at the Local Level: Food Security for the Future’


Auburn University (Auburn)
- September, 4th, 4:00 to 5:00pm
‘How to help your pet live better, longer using natural approaches to health care’

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


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


Coursera : free online courses from top universities.

Coursera provides free online classes available worldwide through an internet connection. In the fall, more than 100 courses in sciences (biology, computer science, business, economics, humanities, …) will be offered online. Original partner universities (Michigan, Princeton, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania) have been joined by 12 other international universities including Duke University and the Georgia Institute of technology.
>>Learn more GIF

France-Atlanta 2012

For the last two years now, the Consulate General of France in Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology have presented a series of multidisciplinary events centered on innovation and designed to breathe new life into the French-American cooperation in the U.S. Southeast: France-Atlanta.
Encouraged by the success of the last two editions, the Consulate General of France in Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology have decided to make this initiative an annual event, a French-American rendez-vous. France-Atlanta 2012 will be held on October 25-November 10.
To consult the 2012 brochure, please click the PDF document below :

PDF - 2.2 Mb
France-Atlanta Brochure 2012
(PDF - 2.2 Mb)

>>Learn more GIF


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


Curiosity on Mars

This image was taken on Aug. 23, 2012 by NASA’s Curiosity rover. It looks south-southwest from the rover’s landing site. The gravelly area around Curiosity’s landing site is visible in the foreground.
For more picture : NASA Image Gallery

On Monday, August 6, Curiosity, NASA’s newest rover, successfully landed on Mars. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is a mission of exploration of Mars using a remote-controlled rover called Curiosity.
During its lifespan, which is expected to last two years, Curiosity, the heaviest and most complex rover yet sent to Mars, will notably investigate any signs of organic components, study the climate of the planet and collect data for future human missions.
For more information : Curiosity’s Mars Exploration, also available in French

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 30/08/2012

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