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The social lives of macaques, SARS-CoV-2 might not infect olfactory nerves, some Martian clays are of magmatic origin

By 8 juillet 2020 juillet 19th, 2020 No Comments

Extracts from « LabNews »

Can macaques understand friendship between their fellow monkeys?


Crédit Jamie Whitehouse – Centre de primatologie de l’Université de Strasbourg

To try and answer this question, Jamie Whitehouse and Hélène Meunier of Centre de Primatologie de Strasbourg, begun an experiment on a group of 26 individuals in January 2019. Read about their findings here and in their paper, published in Scientific Reports.

Losing the sense of smell: SARS-CoV-2 might not infect olfactory nerves

illustration Perte d’odorat : le SARS-CoV-2 n’infecterait pas les nerfs olfactifs



Anosmia, or the loss of our sense of smell, is one of the symptoms frequently experienced by Covid-19 patients. Indeed, healthcare personnel include this symptom when diagnosing patients infected with CoV-2-CoRSA. While recent studies have suggested that the virus infects the olfactory nerves in the nose, INRAE researchers, in collaboration with ANSES, have now demonstrated – in experimental models in hamsters at least – that the virus infects other cells of the nasal mucosa, but not the olfactory nerves. The researchers, including Nicolas Meunier of the INRAE/UVSQ, are reporting their results in Brain Behaviour and Immunity.

Some Martian clays are of magmatic origin

Transmission electron microscopy image of primary/magmatic Martian clays discovered in the Nakhla meteorite © C. Le Guillou

Researchers think that the presence of clays on the surface of Mars is proof that liquid water existed there more than 3.5 billion years ago. These minerals are usually formed during weathering processes when rocks are exposed to liquid water. A team of researchers from the of the IMPMC has just turned this idea on its head by studying the clays in Nakhla, a 1.3 billion-year-old Martian meteorite.

Using state-of-the-art microscopy and spectroscopy tools, they were able to demonstrate that the clays of this meteorite are not products that have altered over time, but primary phases that precipitated at the end of the cooling process of lava flow. During cooling, the crystallisation of the minerals allowed the lava to chemically evolve (a process called magmatic differentiation), until residual pockets with a composition close to that of the granite of the Earth’s continental crust formed. It is in these pockets that these primary/magmatic clays were observed.

The researchers, including Jean-Christophe Viennet of the IMPMC, detail their work in Geochemical Perspectives Letters.