Newsletter Scientifique #12 - January 2013



The Science and Technology Office of the French Consulate of Chicago would like to wish you and your family a very happy and healthy new year!

This month, we present a highlight of the important headlines that marked the end of 2012 and look forward to new scientific developments that are starting this year in France and the US. The theme this month includes articles on agriculture, dietary and health issues, and the continued search for biofuels.
We expect 2013 to be a year filled with advancements from researchers, institutions and companies.

Enjoy your read!

Adèle Martial, Scientific attaché
Cécile Camerlynck, Deputy Scientific attaché

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Table of contents

Science & Technology in the US

National News


USDA Funded Research Leads to Key Discoveries in the Pig Genome - Nov 15th

Research conducted and supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has led to a new analysis of the pig genome, revealing new similarities between pigs and humans that could potentially advance biomedical research significantly. Additional findings from the study, reported today in the journal Nature, may also lead to better breeding strategies, improved pork production and improvements to human health. The research was conducted by a global team of scientists as part of the International Swine Genome Sequence Consortium (ISGSC). “This new swine genome sequence analysis helps us understand the genetic mechanisms that enable high-quality pork production, feed efficiency and resistance to disease,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. “This knowledge can ultimately help producers breed high-quality swine, lower production costs and improve sustainability. My congratulations to the International Swine Genome Sequence Consortium for this tremendous achievement.” Read more


2012 Food & Health Survey: Consumer Attitudes toward Food Safety, Nutrition and Health - May 12th

A five-year retrospective focusing on key findings from the annual International Food Information Council Foundation’s (IFIC) Food & Health Survey, “Is it Time to Rethink Nutrition Communications? A 5-Year Retrospective of Americans’ Attitudes Toward Food, Nutrition, and Health,” has been published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The IFIC Foundation’s annual Food & Health Survey is a national quantitative study designed to gain insights from Americans on important nutrition and health-related topics. The article, which analyzes data from the 2006 to 2010 iterations of the survey, finds that while American consumers have a desire to engage in healthful behaviors, there is work to be done to help consumers establish long-term healthful habits. “Having five years of consumer research offers invaluable insights on how the communication of dietary guidance impacts consumers,” said Marianne Smith Edge, Senior Vice President, Nutrition & Food Safety at the IFIC Foundation and co-author of the article. “And, we have not stopped at five years. The IFIC Foundation remains committed to continuing to field this survey to gain and share insights on consumers’ knowledge and behaviors. Further, this helps focus consumer communication efforts on areas where they are needed most.” Read more

FSIS Updates Research Priorities to Address Emerging Food Safety Concerns - Dec 6th

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has updated its research priorities to keep pace with ever-changing issues and opportunities in food safety and public health related to the meat, poultry and egg products FSIS regulates. Scientific research and resources from outside the agency complement internal efforts to ensure that food safety inspection aligns with existing and emerging risks across the farm-to-table continuum. "Our goal is to effectively use science to understand foodborne illness and emerging trends," said USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen. "External research is critical to our public health mission and ultimately serves as another tool at our disposal to protect the food supply for over 300 million Americans." Read more


Agriculture under secretary announces support for producers of advanced biofuels - Nov 19th

In Washington, Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager announced payments to 189 companies to support the production and expansion of advanced biofuels. The payments total more than $15.7 million. The funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Advanced Biofuel Payment Program, which was established in the 2008 Farm Bill. Under this program, payments are made to eligible producers based on the amount of biofuels produced from renewable biomass from a wide variety of non-food sources, including waste products. Read more

Synthetic fuel could eliminate US need for crude oil - Dec 5th

The United States could eliminate the need for crude oil by using a combination of coal, natural gas and non-food crops to make synthetic fuel, a team of Princeton researchers has found. Besides economic and national security benefits, the plan has potential environmental advantages. Because plants absorb carbon dioxide to grow, the United States could cut vehicle greenhouse emissions by as much as 50 percent in the next several decades using non-food crops to create liquid fuels, the researchers said. Synthetic fuels would be an easy fit for the transportation system because they could be used directly in automobile engines and are almost identical to fuels refined from crude oil. That sets them apart from currently available biofuels, such as ethanol, which have to be mixed with gas or require special engines. Read more

NREL to help convert methane to liquid diesel - Jan 8th

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will help develop microbes that convert methane found in natural gas into liquid diesel fuel, a novel approach that if successful could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower dependence on foreign oil. The amount of natural gas simply flared or vented from oil wells globally is enormous – equal to one-third of the amount of petroleum used in the United States each year. And every molecule of methane vented to the atmosphere in that process has the global-warming capacity of 12 molecules of carbon dioxide. A consortium of scientists says that if the wasted gas can be turned into a liquid, then it can be piped along with the petroleum to refineries where it can be turned into diesel suitable for trucks and cars, or even jet fuel for use in planes. Their proposal – to develop a microbe that eats the methane in the gas – won a $4.8 million Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) award from DOE. NREL’s award was announced as one of 66 OPEN 2012 projects, which focus on a wide array of technologies, including advanced fuels, advanced vehicle design and materials, building efficiency, carbon capture, grid modernization, renewable power, and energy storage. Read more

Midwest news


Purdue publication answers questions about ’raw’ milk - Nov 27th

As consumer demand for locally grown and organic foods increases, so, too, does the interest in unpasteurized - or "raw" - milk. But is milk that comes straight from a cow safe to drink? A new Purdue Extension publication helps separate fact from fiction. Raw Milk FAQs, Extension publication AS-612-W, is available for free download from Purdue Extension’s The Education Store at The seven-page publication was written by Mike Schutz, Purdue Extension dairy specialist, and Mike Ferree, a Purdue Extension educator from Bartholomew County. The publication is intended to add to the public dialogue as lawmakers across the country consider whether to regulate raw milk, what a regulatory system should look like, and how best to protect both consumer choice and public health, Schutz said. Read more

Study finds prioritizing rather than canvassing entire plant genome may lead to improved crops - Dec 4th

A new study may help scientists produce better climate-resistant corn and other food production plants by putting a spin on the notion that we are what we eat. Kansas State University geneticists and colleagues found that by applying a genetic-analysis method used to study and prioritize the genes in humans, it improved the likelihood of finding critical genes in food production plants. These genes control quantitate traits in plants, such as how the plants grow and when they flower. Additionally, this method can be used to study how food production plants respond to drought, heat and other factors — giving scientists a greater chance at improving crops’ resistances to harsh weather and environments. "Right now we know most of the genes that make up several of these food production plants, but finding the right genes to increase food yield or heat tolerance is like finding a needle in a haystack," said Jianming Yu, associate professor of agronomy at Kansas State University and the study’s senior author. Read more

New agricultural electronic insect trap saves labor, monitors insect data, reduces insecticide use - Dec 12th

A new agricultural electronic insect trapping device has the potential to automatically monitor insect pest populations and reduce the amount of insecticides emitted into the environment. The Z-Trap is an insect trapping device that automatically detects the number of target insects captured by the trap and sends the data wirelessly to the grower’s mobile phone or computer. The Z-Trap is a Purdue University discovery being commercialized in the Purdue Research Park by Spensa Technologies Inc. "Tracking insect populations is a fundamental part of any pest management program and being able to track those numbers in real time electronically through a smartphone or a computer helps growers choose how to use insecticides more judiciously," said Johnny Park, president and CEO of Spensa and a Purdue research assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering. "This device enables growers to electronically monitor insect populations, reduces the amount of chemicals emitted in agricultural fields, lowers labor costs and reduces the amount of insecticides purchased by growers." Read more

Going Beyond the Barnyard To Stop Stable Flies - Dec 20th

Livestock producers may not be able to see the difference between stable flies and other flies at a distance, but they can definitely see the stable flies’ effect on their cattle as the animals stop grazing and bunch together to minimize the number of bites they’re getting. Stable flies are among the most important arthropod pests of cattle in the United States. Their painful bites can reduce milk production in dairy cows, decrease weight gain in beef cattle, and reduce feed efficiency.Generally, insecticide sprays are used to help keep stable flies off animals, especially their legs, where the flies mainly bite. But as cattle walk through wet grass or wade through water, the spray washes off—making the treatment ineffective. Management of this pest is further complicated by the fact that larval development sites exist for only a short time, are difficult to find, and can produce huge numbers of the aggravating flies. Read more


Grilled, seared foods may add to waistlines, disease risk - Dec 11th

A steak slapped onto a hot barbecue will leave the meat with black grill lines that add flavor and aroma, but the chemicals contained in charred, seared and fried foods may over time kick-start the body’s ability to add new fat cells and increase the risk of age-related diseases, a Purdue University study shows. Over time, the human body shuts down the ability of young fat cells to mature and accumulate lipids. But grilling, searing and frying create glycated proteins, which result from proteins chemically bonding with sugar. "When you put proteins and sugars together at high temperatures, there is a chemical reaction, and that creates flavor and texture, which we think of as good things," said Kee-Hong Kim, an assistant professor of food science. "Research suggests that these glycated proteins are involved in age-related diseases like cardiovascular disease." Read more

Shifting the balance between good fat and bad fat - Jan 4th

In many cases, obesity is caused by more than just overeating and a lack of exercise. Something in the body goes haywire, causing it to store more fat and burn less energy. But what is it? Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have a new theory—a protein called p62. According to a study the team published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, when p62 is missing in fat tissue, the body’s metabolic balance shifts—inhibiting "good" brown fat, while favoring "bad" white fat. These findings indicate that p62 might make a promising target for new therapies aimed at curbing obesity. "Without p62 you’re making lots of fat but not burning energy, and the body thinks it needs to store energy," said Jorge Moscat, Ph.D., Sanford-Burnham professor. "It’s a double whammy." Moscat led the study with collaborators at Helmholtz Zentrum München in Germany and the University of Cincinnati. Read more


Could sunflowers turn Chicago vacant lots into a source for biofuels? - Nov 24th

More than 40,000 vacant lots dot Chicago’s landscape, forgotten places often littered with broken glass and patched with overgrown weeds. Apart from a few withered sunflowers swaying in the crisp fall air, the vacant lot that sits in the 4300 block of Greenwood Avenue looks like any other in the city. Surrounded by townhomes and dilapidated fences, the plot in Bronzeville doesn’t exactly look like a science laboratory. But a big idea grew here this summer and that launched some serious science this fall. Chicago Biofuels, a local company that specializes in collecting used cooking oils from city restaurants for conversion into biodiesel, planted sunflowers on the lot this summer and harvested them. Sunflower seeds can be pressed and the extracted oil can be used in a variety of products, including soaps, cooking oils and biodiesel. Chicago Biofuels harvested 11 pounds of seeds and extracted half a gallon of biodiesel from the two-third of an acre lot, said Pete Probst, the company’s business development director. Read more

Garbage bug may help lower the cost of biofuel - Nov 29th

One reason that biofuels are expensive to make is that the organisms used to ferment the biomass cannot make effective use of hemicellulose, the next most abundant cell wall component after cellulose. They convert only the glucose in the cellulose, thus using less than half of the available plant material. “Here at the EBI and other places in the biofuel world, people are trying to engineer microbes that can use both,” said University of Illinois microbiologist Isaac Cann. “Most of the time what they do is they take genes from different locations and try and stitch all of them together to create a pathway that will allow that microbe to use the other sugar.” Cann and Rod Mackie, also a U of I microbiologist, have been doing research at the Energy Biosciences Institute on an organism that they think could be used to solve this problem. Read more

Lower nitrogen losses with perennial biofuel crops - Jan 10th

Perennial biofuel crops such as miscanthus, whose high yields have led them to be considered an eventual alternative to corn in producing ethanol, are now shown to have another beneficial characteristic–the ability to reduce the escape of nitrogen in the environment. In a 4-year University of Illinois study that compared miscanthus, switchgrass, and mixed prairie species to typical corn-corn-soybean rotations, each of the perennial crops were highly efficient at reducing nitrogen losses, with miscanthus having the greatest yield. “Our results clearly demonstrate that environmental nitrogen fluxes from row-crop agriculture can be greatly reduced after the establishment of perennial biofuel crops,” said U of I postdoctoral research associate Candice Smith. “Because of the establishment variability, we were able to compare annual row crops with perennial crops. Although in the first two years, nitrate leaching remained high in the non-established miscanthus crop, once a dense, productive crop was established in the second year of growth, nitrate leaching in tile drainage quickly decreased.” Read more

Other states’ news


UC Davis researchers aid effort to sequence the complex wheat genome - Nov 28th

Intent on developing wheat varieties with higher yields and enhanced nutritional content, researchers at the University of California, Davis, have teamed up with scientists at nine other institutions in an attempt to sequence the wheat genome. Results from that endeavor, led by researchers at the U.K.-based Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, will be reported Nov. 29 in the journal Nature. “This work moves us one step closer to a comprehensive and highly detailed genome sequence for bread wheat, which along with rice and maize is one of the three pillars on which the global food supply rests,” said Jan Dvorak, professor of plant sciences at UC Davis and a study co-author. “The world’s population is projected to grow from 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050,” he said. “It is clear that, with no new farmable land available to bring into cultivation, we must develop higher-yielding varieties of these three cereals to meet the growing global demand for food.” Read more

Biologists Unlocking the Secrets of Plant Defenses, One Piece at a Time - Dec 5th

Researchers examining how the hormone jasmonate works to protect plants and promote their growth have revealed how a transcriptional repressor of the jasmonate signaling pathway makes its way into the nucleus of the plant cell. They hope the recently published discovery will eventually help farmers experience better crop yields with less use of potentially harmful chemicals. "This is a small piece of a bigger picture, but it is a very important piece," said Maeli Melotto, a University of Texas at Arlington assistant professor of biology. Melotto recently co-authored a paper that advances current understanding of plant defense mechanisms with her collaborator Sheng Yang He and his team at Michigan State University’s Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory (DOE-PRL). He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation investigator. A paper on the collaboration was published online Nov. 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences under the title, "Transcription factor-dependent nuclear import of transcriptional repressor in jasmonate hormone signaling." Read more

Drainage Ditch Research Reveals Opportunities for Cleaning Up Runoff - Dec 20th

“There is no typical drainage ditch,” says Agricultural Research Service ecologist Matt Moore. “And until recently, farmers just thought of them as something they need to drain water off their fields. But we can use these ditches to minimize pesticide and nutrient losses in runoff—and it can be done without taking any cropland out of production.” Moore, who works at the ARS National Sedimentation Laboratory in Oxford, Mississippi, has been wading through edge-of-field drainage ditches since he was a boy planting rice on his family’s farm in Arkansas. The ditches—as common in agricultural landscapes as the fields they drain—range from shallow gullies that sometimes run dry to much larger channels that hold either standing or flowing water throughout the year. Read more

UC Davis contributes to sequencing of the simplest cotton genome - Dec 21st

The simplest cotton genome, Gossypium raimondii, has been sequenced through the efforts of a consortium of 31 institutions, including the University of California, Davis. The discovery, announced today in the journal Nature, paves the way for making improvements in the fiber crop, which, with its oil and meal byproducts, contributes approximately $120 billion to the annual U.S. gross domestic product. The sequencing effort, led by Regents Professor Andrew Paterson of the University of Georgia, was initiated in 2007 by the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute Sequencing Program. “This collaborative effort has yielded a wealth of information that will help scientists better understand the basic biology of cotton and enhance the sustainable production of this globally important crop,” said plant scientist Allen Van Deynze, who led UC Davis’ participation in the sequencing project. Read more

Better to cultivate Beneficial Fungi on a liquid diet - Jan 9th

Biopesticides containing beneficial fungi are often grown on grains or other solids, but Agricultural Research Service scientists have found that a liquid diet might be cheaper and better. The approach, known as “liquid culture fermentation,” offers several advantages, including lower material costs and increased yields of certain forms of pest-killing fungi like Isaria or Metarhizium that can be sprayed directly onto crop plants or applied to soil as a biological alternative to using synthetic pesticides. For decades, biopesticide makers have cultured fungi like these on moistened grains or other solid substrates to prompt them into churning out billions of specialized cells called “conidia,” or spores, which latch onto and then penetrate the cuticles of silverleaf whiteflies, aphids, and other soft-bodied insect pests, killing them within a few days. Read more


‘Evidence is strong’ for omega-3’s heart health benefits - Nov 29th

The evidence supporting the heart health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids is strong, despite ‘less conclusive’ recent studies, says a new review from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Professor Donald Jump and his co-workers report that fish consumption and omega-3 supplements may still help reduce the risk of heart disease, and that some fatty acids, from certain sources, are more effective than others. The heart health benefits of fish oil, and the omega-3 fatty acids it contains, are well-documented, being first reported in the early 1970s by Dr Jorn Dyerberg and his co-workers in The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Read more

Mobile device enables easier food allergen testing - Dec 13th

A simpler way to detect allergens in food samples has been devised with the launch of a new device for mobile phones developed by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a lightweight device called the iTube, which attaches to a common mobile phone to detect the allergens. The innovation improves on previous testing kits, which the scientists claim are too complex and bulky, and in theory could be used by consumers, claim the scientists. In addition, results could be uploaded to a database and, coupled with geographic information, could inform future food-related policies - for example in restaurants, food production and for consumer protection, the researchers said. Read more

T.J. Rodgers completes world’s first wireless wine fermentation network for UC Davis winery - Jan 8th

In another advance for innovative winemaking, students and faculty at the University of California, Davis, are now processing wine with the world’s first wireless fermentation system, thanks to a recently completed $3.5 million network designed, built and donated to the university by Silicon Valley semiconductor executive T.J. Rodgers. Rodgers, a wine lover and winery owner, is founder, president and CEO of San Jose-based Cypress Semiconductor Corp. Now in its third generation of refinement, the initial assembly of custom-designed stainless steel fermentors was installed just in time for the winery’s first crush in 2010. Since then, Rodgers and his crew of engineers and computer experts from Cypress Semiconductor have continued to fine-tune the innovative fermentation system to meet the needs of the campus’s two-year-old Teaching and Research Winery, known for its environmental and technical sophistication. “UC Davis is the foremost center for enology and viticulture in the world," Rodgers said. "Our goal was to provide it with the most advanced winemaking equipment in the world.” Read more

100K Foodborne Pathogen Genome Project - Jan 8th

Food safety, which is a very complex series of events, is the responsibility agriculture, public health, and medicine that requires bold and revolutionary efforts to ensure. The 100K Pathogen Genome Project is a landmark consortium that addresses the persistent food safety concerns by engaging world-wide partners to create a publicly available genetic database of the most common foodborne disease causing microbes. As our food supply becomes a global industry food safety becomes a worldwide mandate. This project will revolutionize the methods used in agriculture by bringing a new paradigm to public health to empower precise and robust molecular testing in the food chain – from the farm to the kitchen table. Despite efforts to reduce foodborne illness, outbreaks from Salmonella, Campylobacter, enteropathogenic E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Vibrio, and Shigella continue to occur worldwide. Read more


A Better Route to Xylan - Nov 12th

After cellulose, xylan is the most abundant biomass material on Earth, and therefore represents an enormous potential source of stored solar energy for the production of advance biofuels. A major roadblock, however, has been extracting xylan from plant cell walls. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have taken a significant step towards removing this roadblock by identifying a gene in rice plants whose suppression improves both the extraction of xylan and the overall release of the sugars needed to make biofuels. The newly identified gene – dubbed XAX1 – acts to make xylan less extractable from plant cell walls. JBEI researchers, working with a mutant variety of rice plant – dubbed xax1 – in which the XAX1 gene has been “knocked-out” found that not only was xylan more extractable, but saccharification – the breakdown of carbohydrates into releasable sugars – also improved by better than 60-percent. Increased saccharification is key to more efficient production of advanced biofuels. Read more

Bioengineered marine algae expands environments where biofuels can be produced - Nov 26th

Biologists at UC San Diego have demonstrated for the first time that marine algae can be just as capable as fresh water algae in producing biofuels. The scientists genetically engineered marine algae to produce five different kinds of industrially important enzymes and say the same process they used could be employed to enhance the yield of petroleum-like compounds from these salt water algae. Their achievement is detailed in a paper published online in the current issue of the scientific journal Algal Research. The ability to genetically transform marine algae into a biofuel crop is important because it expands the kinds of environments in which algae can be conceivably grown for biofuels. Corn, for example, which is used to produce ethanol biofuel, requires prime farmland and lots of fresh water. But the UC San Diego study suggests that algal biofuels can be produced in the ocean or in the brackish water of tidelands or even on agricultural land on which crops can no longer be grown because of high salt content in the soil. Read more

Gases from Grasses: Simulations On Ranger Supercomputer Help Researchers Understand Biofuel Reactions - Dec 3th

In a well-known fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin used magic to weave straw into gold. Today, scientists are reversing that formula — using gold to turn straw (and other forms of biomass) into today’s global currency: energy. The magic involves a special nanocatalyst, in which minute particles of gold dot the surface of titanium-oxide. The forces that emerge from the combination of these two materials are strong enough to breaks the O-O bond of oxygen molecules and the C-O bond of acetic acid, a byproduct of biomass conversion that, when combined with hydrogen, forms ethanol, an important precursor for fuel. Because of its ability to split strongly bonded molecules, the gold titanium-oxide nanocatalyst is becoming a leading candidate for industrial applications that use biomass or fuel cells to create clean energy. Read more

Engineered Bacteria Make Fuel from Sunlight - Jan 7th

Chemists at the University of California, Davis, have engineered blue-green algae to grow chemical precursors for fuels and plastics — the first step in replacing fossil fuels as raw materials for the chemical industry. "Most chemical feedstocks come from petroleum and natural gas, and we need other sources," said Shota Atsumi, assistant professor of chemistry at UC Davis and lead author on the study published Jan. 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The U.S. Department of Energy has set a goal of obtaining a quarter of industrial chemicals from biological processes by 2025. Read more

Science & Technology in France

At the National level


The Food Quality Observatory publishes new study on food - Dec 17th

The Food Quality Observatory published a new study estimating the potential impacts of several food reformulations that occurred following voluntary commitments of nutritional progress signed by food companies. This study meant to compare the food supply after the application of new regulations for eight nutrients (sodium, sugars, lipids, vitamin D, saturated fatty acid, trans-fatty acid, fibers and calcium). The goal of the 2012 study was to estimate the potential impacts of several food reformulations that occurred following voluntary commitments of nutritional progress signed by food companies. Thirty companies have signed charters with the French Government in which they commit to improve the nutritional composition of the existing food products on the market. The efficiency of these charters is based on their capacity to improve the nutritional situation of populations with a high risk of excess or deficiency in supply, but also of populations having a low socio-economic level. This is why the potential impact of these charters has also been studied for the “strong and weak consumers,” along with different socio-economic levels. Read more


Uses of non-food biomass - Dec 12th

The transition to a low carbon economy began to give a new importance biomass and raises many questions, first and foremost controversies about feeding people, the sustainability of biomass resources and the balance between uses. This report analyzes the issues, problems and perspectives for the period 2010 - 2050 as well as public policies in France and in Europe by 2020. He established several recommendations to better manage the emergence of non-food uses of bio-based products. Read more (French article)

Companies and Research Cluster


The INRA Research Centre of Dijon - Dec 20th

Know more about the research conducted at the INRA Research Centre of Dijon: agroecology, food and taste, territories and their development, ecology of microbial and aquatic ecosystems. Burgundy is a region of France which is reputed for a large number of traditional products, some of which have received prestigious quality labels. Large areas are devoted to specific types of agriculture (vineyards, field crops, pastures) which shape the landscape.
INRA has been present in Burgundy since 1946, when INRA was founded. The Dijon Research Centre has a multidisciplinary vocation and its fields of research reflect the overall research priorities developed by INRA throughout France, namely food and nutrition, agriculture and the environment. Read more

Probiotics active against listeriosis - Dec 20th

Treatment with lactobacilli can reduce propagation throughout the body of the bacterium that causes listeriosis (Listeria monocytogenes). Obtained in the mouse by researchers from INRA and Institut Pasteur, these results enable a clearer understanding of the mechanisms of action involved in the protective effects of these probiotics, which act notably on the expression of genes in both the host and Listeria. Probiotics are live micro-organisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host (official WHO definition, 2001). To date, the established benefits of certain probiotics include stimulation of the immune system, an improvement in lactose intolerance or the inhibition of pathogenic micro-organisms. However, the mechanisms underlying these beneficial effects on human and animal health are still poorly understood. Read more


Biofuels from animal fats in France? - Nov 12th

The Group Les Mousquetaires - grocery stores company - will build the first factory to produce biofuel from animal fats in Le Havre, France. This distributor and its partner will invest €40 million in this facility. "This is to enhance waste animal fat to make biofuels without mobilizing resources for use in human food," said Christophe Bonno, director of the industrial division of Les Mousquetaires. Read more (in French)

Get in touch with science

Many organizations give you the opportunity to learn and improve your mind about agriculture and food science. Please find below some of website about these:


Website to see

For the United States information

Federal agencies

JPEG : Energy Saver, Solar Energy, and the new investments and projects for 2013 are available on the website.

JPEG : Among the news articles, you will find the results for American People on agriculture from 2009 to 2012.

JPEG The FDA released an article to strengthen the food safety foundation.


JPEG : You will find some articles to learn more about nutrition and metabolism.

News articles

JPEG : News from the United States covering advancements in science and technology (French articles).

For France information

Research centers

JPEG : You will have different information about a new Research Center, probiotics, and the INRA’s awards in 2012.

Information centers

JPEG : News from France on advancements in science and technology (French articles).

JPEG : Anti-waste food initiative, phyto products, and agroecology are the main topics this month.

JPEG : This site releases articles on food study, French Food, and food waste.

European informations

JPEG : The European Food Safety Authority provides a short film about EFSA’s food safety role from field to fork. Other articles are related to aspartame, public health risk, and mercury.

Coming events

Wisconsin Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Conference The Wilderness Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin January 20 - 22, 2013
National Biodiesel Conference and Expo The Mirage Resort & Casino
3400 South Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109 February 4-7, 2013
18th Annual National Ethanol Conference Wynn Las Vegas Las Vegas, Nevada February 5-7, 2013
Municipal Solid Waste to Biofuels & Bio-Products Summit Omni Orlando Resort Orlando, Florida February 20-21, 2013
Agricultural Outlook Forum 2013 Crystal Gateway Marriott Arlington, Virginia February 21-22, 2013
MOSES Organic Farming Conference La Crosse Center La Crosse, Wisconsin February 21-23, 2013
Sustainable packaging ONLINE February 28, 2013


French Office for Science and Technology at the Embassy of France in Washington, DC - website:
Consulate General of France in Chicago - website:


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Last modified on 22/01/2013

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