The best of the press: on science and technology news #13

Every month, we review the French and international press to offer you a selection of the most essential, amusing, surprising or very useful scientific and technological information.

Here you will find our summary of the science and technology news that shook or turned upside down the month of June. And, as tradition dictates: at the end of this article, extra information!

metal eating plants

She was mentioned in the best of the press #12, Claude Grison is the winner of the European Inventor Award 2022 in the “Research” category, presented at a ceremony on June 21. The CNRS research director, responsible for twelve patents, is rewarded for the methods of using plants that she has developed. The solution makes it possible to extract metallic elements from contaminated soils, such as mining soils, and then exploit these metals. These “ecocatalysts” are used to create new molecules for industry. “Our processes allow us to produce, thanks to them, useful and very complex molecules to be synthesized in another way”she rejoices.

A flying laboratory dedicated to air analysis

Residents of Ile-de-France may have noticed the unusual low-altitude flyby of a aircraft, whose mission is to take measurements from the air. From June 14 to July 7, the ATR42 of French Instrumented Aircraft Service for Environmental Research (SAFIRE)operates from Pontoise airport, three hours a day, specifies the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). It takes measurements mainly on the forests of Ile de France, but not only.
Several public research laboratories have equipped this authentic flying laboratory with multiple sensors and analysis systems. The objective is to better understand the transformations that urban pollution undergoes (such as that due to exhaust gases) when combined with the products naturally emitted by plants in semi-rural areas and forests.

The VivaTechnology fair was held from June 15 to 18. In search of innovations, we found the Grenoble-based company ROSI. Recycle solar modules from photovoltaic panels at the end of their useful life. Its chief technology officer, Guy Chichignoud, spoke with Science and Future: « Our process allows us to recover the ultrapure silicon from the cells as well as the silver from the wires used to collect the current produced by each cell, which was not possible before.. Our innovation lies in the possibility of reusing these materials almost infinitely and reducing the carbon footprint of the photovoltaic industry by 90%”.
And among Numeroman’s favorite innovationsThey include La Grangette’s connected vegetable garden, Cosmo Connected’s augmented reality glasses and La patisserie numérique’s 3D food printing solution.

Amazon Drone Delivery Trials

The e-commerce giant has chosen the city of Lockerford, California, to get started in drone delivery. With this service, called Prime Air, consumers will be able to choose “ among thousands of everyday products that will drop the drone in your garden, we learn from Amazon’s press release dated June 13. This experience should allow us to improve the service, in order to be able to deploy it on a large scale.
Several prototypes were needed, before arriving at the capable model identify and avoid obstacles, both static and moving, such as fireplaces, other aerial devices, and pets. Prime Air’s drones will be able to carry 2.3kg of goods in a package, on a 24km route, according to a spokesperson for the group. ” later this year (…) residents will be able to sign up to be delivered by drones for free “, Indicates the press release, without specifying a date.

A portrait of our galaxy.

Monday, June 13, the The Gaia space telescope has delivered its new data over nearly two billion stars in the Milky Way. The precision of this third harvest of data is such that it allows us to map our galaxy, which seems to be boiling with life.
This important scientific mission for the European Space Agency (ESA) was launched in 2013. During the presentation of the data collected by Gaia, Josef Aschbacher, Managing Director, was delighted: “cIt is a fantastic day for astronomy, opening the floodgates to new discoveries about the Universe and our galaxy. »
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Stationed 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, facing the Sun, the space observatory maps our galaxy in all its dimensions, using two telescopes and a billion-pixel photographic sensor. This helps to understand its origin, structure and dynamics.
The 700 million pieces of data sent to the ground every day, for 34 months, revealed unexpected information. For example, the 220 million photometric spectra will make it possible for the first time to estimate the mass, color, temperature and age of stars. Gaia has also recorded stellar “earthquakes,” tiny movements on a star’s surface that change its shape.
Our galaxy is more turbulent than expected. « It was thought to have reached a steady state, gently circling, like a fluid being gently stirred with a wooden spoon. But not quite! “, develops François Mignard, scientific manager of the Gaia mission for France. His” On the contrary, Patachon’s life is made up of accidents, unexpected and not so simple movements. than this spiral that she describes. For example, our solar system. not only rotates in a perpendicular plane, goes up and down, up and down “, he says again.

he looked sad

Yves Coppens died at the age of 87 on June 22. He directed the National Museum of Natural History and held the chair of paleontology and prehistory at the College de France. He will remain mostly associated with Lucy, a young Australopithecus whose fossil he discovered in 1974 with other scientists.
Tributes to the scientist abound on the web, many contents are once again available: his human research« How do we become human?“, his passion for “old stones” that earned him the nickname “ coconut the fossil« .

Music Bonus: RECORDS and Music Streaming Algorithms

This June bonus echoes the Fête de la Musique, which celebrated its 40th anniversary on June 21. On this occasion, the CNRS magazine published a dossier on music. draws our attention the impact of algorithms when listening to music, across multiple streaming platforms. « What does the big data collected by the platforms say about our listening behavior and tastes? » is one of the topics addressed by RECORDS(1), a ” collaborative research carried out by researchers and engineers working in three CNRS laboratories and the R&D departments of Deezer and Orange. »
Deezer provided this team of researchers with the anonymous listening histories of its users. ” Records’ work reverses the usual perspective on the role of algorithms in filter bubble formation.explains Camille Roth, CNRS researcher at the crossroads of social sciences, mathematics and computer science at the Marc Bloch Center. Rather than looking at whether behavior deviates from the recommendation, we study how users handle the recommendation.. So we realize that there are different attitudes and that the impact of recommendation and filtering varies according to these. As for the issue of Internet filter bubbles, we really have to make an effort to distinguish between different classes of users.. »
“Our analyzes lead us to rule out theories according to which automated recommendation would systematically compartmentalize Internet users’ choices, or on the contrary, guarantee exposure to a greater variety of content, including less popular ones”concludes Thomas Louail, CNRS researcher and coordinator of the RECORDS project.

Image Credit One: Intissar El Hajj Mohamed//Engineering Techniques

(1) Acronym for “pratiques des publiCs de PLAtfORmes de streaming music”

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