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

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

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

metal-eating plants

She was mentioned in the best press # 12, Claude Grison is the winner of the European Inventor Prize 2022 in the category “Research”, awarded at a ceremony on 21 June. The research director at CNRS, which originates from twelve patents, is being rewarded for the methods of using plants that she has developed. The solution makes it possible to extract metallic elements from contaminated soil, such as mine soil, 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 that need 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 overflight of an aircraft whose mission is to perform air measurements. Since June 14 and until July 7, ATR42 operates the French Airline Instrument for Environmental Research (SAFIRE) service from Pontoise Airport, three hours a day, the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) specifies. It mainly takes measurements over the forests of the Ile de France, but not only.
Several public research laboratories have equipped this veritable aviation laboratory with several sensors and analysis systems. The aim is to better understand the transformations that urban pollution undergoes (such as due to exhaust fumes) when combined with the products naturally emitted 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 photovoltaic modules from obsolete photovoltaic panels. Its chief technology officer, Guy Chichignoud, spoke Science and the 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 recycling these materials almost indefinitely and reducing the carbon footprint of the solar cell industry by 90%. “.
And among Numeraman’s favorite innovations are the connected kitchen garden from the company La Grangette, the augmented reality glasses from Cosmo Connected and the 3D food printing solution from La patisserie numérique.

Amazon drone delivery test

The e-commerce giant has chosen the city of Lockerford, California, to launch drone delivery. With this service, called Prime Air, consumers will be able to choose between thousands of everyday products who are dropped by the drone in their garden, we learn from Amazon’s press release dated June 13. This experience should enable the service to improve so that it can be implemented on a large scale.
Many prototypes were needed before reaching the model that was able to identify and avoid obstacles, static and mobile, such as chimneys, other antennas and pets. Prime Air’s drones will be able to transport 2.3 kg of products in a package over a 24 km route, according to a spokesman for the group. ” Later that year (…) residents will be able to sign up to be provided with the 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 of nearly two billion stars in the Milky Way. The precision of this third collection of data is such that it makes it possible to draw the map of our galaxy, which appears to be bubbling with life.
This scientific mission, which is important for the European Space Agency (ESA), was launched in 2013. During the presentation of data collected by Gaia, Josef Aschbacher’s Director General was pleased: “cIt is an amazing day for astronomy, which opens the floodgates for new discoveries about the universe and our galaxy. »
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 Earth every day for 34 months revealed unexpected information. For example, the 220 million photometric spectra will make it possible to estimate the mass, color, temperature, and age of stars for the first time. Gaia has also detected star tremors, small 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 liquid gently touched with a wooden spoon. But not at all! “, Develops François Mignard, Scientific Director 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 does not 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 22 June. He headed the National Museum of Natural History and was president of paleontology and prehistory at the College de France. Above all, he will remain associated with Lucy, a young Australopithecus whose fossil he discovered in 1974 along with other scientists.
Tribute to the scientist abounds online, much content is again available: his research on man, ” How did we become human?“, his passion for” old stones “, which gave him the nickname” Fossil Coco “.

Music bonus: RECORDS and music streaming algorithms

The bonus for this month of June reflects the Fête de la Musique, which celebrated its 40th anniversary on 21 June. On this occasion, the CNRS magazine published a dossier on music. Our attention is drawn to the effect 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 its users’ anonymized listening stories. ” Records’ work reverses the usual perspective on the role of algorithms in the formation of filter bubblesexplains Camille Roth, CNRS researcher at the intersection of the social sciences, mathematics and computer science at the Center Marc Bloch. Instead of looking at whether the behavior deviates from the recommendation, we examine how the recommendation is handled by users. We then realize that there are different attitudes and that the effect of recommendation and filtering varies according to these. With regard to the issue of filter bubbles on the Internet, we really need to make an effort to distinguish between different classes of users. »
“Our analyzes lead us to rule out the theories that the automated recommendation will systematically divide Internet users’ choices or, on the contrary, guarantee exposure to a wider range of content, including less popular ones.”concludes Thomas Louail, CNRS researcher and coordinator of the RECORDS project.

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

(1) Akronym for “public music streaming PLAtfORmes”

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