When Narratives Collide: The Fundamentals of Islamic Fundamentalism

The destruction of heritage sites by the IS has been religiously grounded in Jihadist Salafism.

Heritage is a group’s claim to a legacy. There are, however, different ways of reading history in the process. The Western notion of World Heritage finds value in a culturally diverse past, which is already fulfilled by the present. Conversely, Islamic fundamentalism seeks to bring about conformity to its founding age, condemning any deviance from this particular foundation. Baudouin Dupret, […]

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Realising free-space communication with quantum cascade lasers

Realising free-space communication with quantum cascade lasers

As cheap and accessible tools for transmitting private information, freely propagating light waves are highly desirable for parties operating secure communication networks. However, the encoded information these waves contain can easily be lost due to unpredictable fluctuations in the Earth’s atmosphere. In their research, Frédéric Grillot and Olivier Spitz at Télécom Paris have developed sophisticated new techniques to overcome this […]

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Harnessing the photochemistry of bromine for sustainable manufacturing

The researchers utilised Corning’s heart-shaped fluidic module design.

Chemical production can be fraught with hazards. From explosions to toxic chemicals, making useful molecules often requires careful thought about how to make a process inherently safer. Researchers at RCPE (Austria) have developed an ingenious way to use the automated flow reactors manufactured by Corning SAS (France) to safely harness the photochemistry of bromine – a highly toxic, sludge-brown substance […]

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Planetary Protection Policy: For sustainable space exploration and to safeguard our biosphere

JAXA is planning a sample return mission from the Martian satellite(s).

The search for the origin of life amongst the planetary bodies in our solar system is a driving factor in space research. However, the simple act of sending a spacecraft to explore in situ solar system objects can potentially compromise their environments and cause harmful contamination when returning to Earth. Avoiding such biological contamination of planetary bodies (forward contamination) is […]

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Slip sliding away: Landslides, earthquakes, rainfall and the Andes

Slip sliding away Landslides, earthquakes, rainfall and the Andes

Landslides are the most deadly secondary effect of earthquakes in mountainous regions. Dr Noélie Bontemps (Université Grenoble Alpes) has uncovered the secrets of a slow landside in Peru by monitoring post-seismic landslide dynamics in both the dry and wet seasons. GPS and seismic data confirm that in combination, earthquakes and rainfall cause greater landslide motion than either force alone. There […]

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Understanding farmers’ behaviour to better control avian influenza

Understanding farmers’ behaviour to better control avian influenza

Dr Alexis Delabouglise, based at the International Center of Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), France, and Dr Maciej Boni, at the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics of the Pennsylvania State University, USA, want to understand how small-scale poultry farmers make management decisions involving their birds’ health. In case of an outbreak of avian influenza, for example, understanding the farmer’s views […]

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The European Science Foundation: Forging funding strategies and scientific connections

The European Science Foundation is working with the European Space Agency.

In its almost half a century of existence, the European Science Foundation has established itself as a critical member of the European science community, active in influencing and shaping the research landscape. CEO Nicolas Walter shared with Research Outreach what part the foundation plays now and how he hopes science and research will develop in Europe (and the world!) in […]

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Free blood donation vs. the plasma market

Free blood donation vs. the plasma market

Blood products are vital both for transfusion purposes and the production of blood-derived medicines. Currently, the two ways of obtaining blood products are via free blood donations or via the international plasma market, an industry reliant on paid blood donations. Professor Jean Mercier Ythier of the University of Paris Panthéon-Assas explores the economics and ethics of the plasma market and […]

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Industrial-Academic collaboration: The key for C-H bond activation

Large-scale manufacturing of medication is only possible with effective synthesis of pharmaceutical ingredients.

A very hot and current scientific topic is the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), the burning question being “how can we make API synthesis efficient?”. A big step towards the answer was taken by Dr Guillaume Journot, senior scientist at Servier, France, and Dr Jean-François Brière, a CNRS senior research scientist at COBRA laboratory in Rouen, France. They proved […]

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Systems biology and metabolic networks predict heterosis

Identifying plant traits in the lab.

Heterosis or hybrid vigour is the improved function of a desirable quality in hybrid offspring. Predicting heterosis would mean that plant and animal breeding need not depend on time-consuming and costly field tests of numerous combinations. Dominique de Vienne, Professor at the University Paris-Saclay, France, uses metabolic networks and systems biology to study heterosis. Modelling metabolic systems has relied on […]

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