The best of the press: over the sci-tech news #13

The best of the press: over the sci-tech news #13

Every month, we scan 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 scientific and technological news that rocked or turned the month of June upside down. And, as tradition dictates: at the end of this article, bonus information!

metal eating plants

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

A flying laboratory dedicated to air analysis

Ile-de-France residents may have noticed the unusual and low-altitude overflight of a plane, whose mission is to carry out air measurements. Since June 14 and until July 7, the ATR42 of the Service of French aircraft instrumented for environmental research (SAFIRE), operates from Pontoise airport, three hours a day, specifies the National Center for Scientific Research. (CNRS). It takes measurements mainly above the forests of Ile de France, but not only.
Several public research laboratories have equipped this veritable flying laboratory with multiple sensors and analysis systems. The objective is to better understand the transformations undergone by urban pollution (such as that due to exhaust gases) when it combines with the products emitted naturally by plants in semi-rural areas and forests.

The VivaTechnology show was held from June 15 to 18. Looking for innovations, we found the Grenoble-based company ROSI. It recycles solar modules from end-of-life photovoltaic panels. Its technological director, Guy Chichignoud, spoke with Science and Future: “Our process makes it possible to recover the ultra-pure 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 Numeraman’s favorite innovations are the connected vegetable garden of the company La Grangette, the augmented reality glasses of Cosmo Connected and the 3D food printing solution of La patisserie numérique.

Amazon drone delivery tests

The e-commerce giant has chosen the city of Lockerford, California, to launch drone delivery. With this service, dubbed Prime Air, consumers will be able to choose between thousands of everyday products which will be dropped by the drone in their garden, we learn from Amazon’s press release dated June 13. This experience should allow the service to improve, in order to deploy it on a large scale.
Many prototypes were needed, before arriving at the model capable of identifying and avoiding obstacles, static and mobile, such as chimneys, other aerial devices, and pets. Prime Air’s drones will be able to carry 2.3 kg of products in a package, over a 24 km route, according to a spokesperson for the group. ” Later this year (…) residents will be able to register to be delivered by drone for free “, Indicates the press release, without specifying a date.

A portrait of our galaxy

On Monday June 13, the Gaia space telescope delivered its new data on nearly two billion stars in the Milky Way. The precision of this third harvest of data is such that it makes it possible to draw up the map of our galaxy, which appears to be bubbling with life.
This scientific mission, important for the European Space Agency (ESA), was launched in 2013. During the presentation of the data collected by Gaia, Josef Aschbacher Director General was delighted: “ct is a fantastic day for astronomy, which opens the floodgates for new discoveries about the Universe and our galaxy. »
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Stationed 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, opposite 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 data sent to the ground every day, for 34 months, revealed unexpected information. For example, the 220 million photometric spectra will make it possible to estimate for the first time the mass, color, temperature and age of stars. Gaia has also recorded stellar “quakes,” 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 stationary state, gently swirling around, like a fluid gently stirred with a wooden spoon. But not at all ! “, develops François Mignard, scientific manager of the Gaia mission for France. Her ” life of patachon is on the contrary made of accidents, unexpected movements and not so simple than this spiral that she describes. For example, our solar system doesn’t just rotate in a perpendicular plane, it goes up and down, above and below “, he says again.

Sad Lucy

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 above all 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 again available: his research on Man, ” How did we become humans?“, his passion for “old stones” which earned him the nickname “Coco the fossil”.

Music bonus: RECORDS and music streaming algorithms

The bonus for this month of June echoes the Fête de la Musique, which celebrated its 40th anniversary on June 21. The CNRS journal published a dossier on music on this occasion. Our attention is drawn to the impact of algorithms on listening to music, via multiple streaming platforms. ” What does the big data collected by the platforms say about our listening behavior and our tastes? » is one of the issues addressed by RECORDS(1), a ” collaborative research conducted 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 anonymized listening histories of its users. ” Records’ work reverses the usual perspective on the role of algorithms in the formation of filter bubblesexplains Camille Roth, CNRS researcher at the crossroads of social sciences, mathematics and computer science at the Center Marc Bloch. Rather than looking at whether the behavior is deviated by the recommendation, we study how the recommendation is handled by users. We then realize that there are different attitudes and that the impact of recommendation and filtering varies according to these. On the question of filter bubbles on the Internet, we really have to make the effort to distinguish between different classes of users. »
“Our analyzes lead us to rule out the theories according to which the automated recommendation would systematically compartmentalize the choices of Internet users, or on the contrary would guarantee exposure to a greater variety of content, including less popular”concludes Thomas Louail, CNRS researcher and coordinator of the RECORDS project.

Image credit of one: Intissar El Hajj Mohamed//Engineering Techniques

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

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