[SCIENTIFIC RESULTS] The Rhône-Auvergne CNRS laboratories participate in groundbreaking research

On The August 29, 2023

The National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS – Centre national de la recherche scientifique) is a multidisciplinary public research organization under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. Its local branch gathers most of the laboratories and research units in Lyon and Saint-Étienne, affiliated with our institutions.

Mars: new evidence of an environment conducive to the emergence of life

Using data from NASA's Curiosity rover, scientists have discovered patterns on Mars that provide evidence of a cyclical climate similar to that of Earth's, with wet and dry seasons. More specifically: deposits of salts forming a hexagonal pattern in sedimentary layers, dating from 3.8 to 3.6 billion years ago. Similar to the hexagons observed in terrestrial basins that dry out seasonally, they are the first fossil evidence of a sustained, cyclical, regular Martian climate.

This environment, in which simple organic molecules have already been discovered, may have provided ideal conditions for the formation of complex organic compounds. This work opens up new prospects for research into the processes underlying the origin of life, of which no vestiges remain on Earth.

  • Lyon Saint-Étienne laboratories involved: Laboratoire de géologie de Lyon (CNRS, ENS de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon1, Université Jean Monnet Saint-Étienne)

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Cancer: a new antibody to improve response to treatment

The major obstacles in the management of patients with cancer are 1) resistance to cancer treatments and 2) reduced sensitivity to chemotherapy. The study has shown for the first time the inhibition of a protein responsible for these phenomena by an antibody. It allows, not only when used alone to stabilize the disease, or even to reduce metastases, but when combined with chemotherapy, it improves the results of these conventional treatments for certain cancers.

Similar results were obtained in mice and humans. Various phase II clinical trials are currently underway, with results expected by the end of 2024.

Read the complete press release (in French)

A month after takeoff, the Euclid mission unveils its first observations

One month after the launch of Euclid, the European Space Agency (ESA), in collaboration with the Euclid consortium, unveils the first observations captured by the satellite, which is completing its acceptance test in flight. This is a first step for the satellite, designed to unlock the secrets of dark matter and dark energy. These first images reveal many details thanks to incredible imaging and spectrometry capabilities.

France is the leading contributor to the participations of the Euclid consortium, which benefits from very strong support from CNES for all its management, development and instrument production activities, as well as the processing of mission data. Two of the measuring instruments were developed by the Euclid consortium led by France, mainly involving the CNRS, the CEA and partner universities.

Read the complete press release (in French)