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The Collège de France is a renowned higher education and research establishment in France. It is located in Paris, in the 5th arrondissement, or Latin Quarter, across the street from the historical campus of La Sorbonne at the intersection of Rue Saint-Jacques and Rue des Écoles. It was established in 1530 by King Francis I of France, modeled after the Collegium Trilingue in Louvain, at the urging of Guillaume Budé. Of humanist inspiration, the school was established as an alternative to the Sorbonne to promote such disciplines as Hebrew, Ancient Greek and Mathematics. Initially called Collège Royal, and later Collège des Trois Langues , Collège National, and Collège Impérial, it was named Collège de France in 1870.Unusually for an institution of higher education in France, each professor is required to give lectures where attendance is free and open to anyone. The school's goal is to "teach science in the making". Professors are chosen from a variety of disciplines, in both science and the humanities. The motto of the Collège is Docet Omnia, Latin for "It teaches everything", and its goal can be best summed up by Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phrase: "Not preconceived notions, but the idea of free thought" which is inscribed in golden letters above the main hall.The Collège does not grant degrees but has research laboratories and one of the best research libraries of Europe, with sections focusing on history with rare books, humanities, social science and also chemistry or physics. As of June 2009, over 650 audio podcasts of Collège de France lectures are available on iTunes. Some are also available in English and Chinese. Similarly, the Collège de France's website hosts several videos of classes. Wikipedia.

Le Douarin N.M.,College de France | Dupin E.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research
Current Opinion in Genetics and Development | Year: 2012

Vertebrates belong to the group of chordates characterized by a dorsal neural tube and an anteroposterior axis, the notochord. They are the only chordates to possess an embryonic and pluripotent structure associated with their neural primordium, the neural crest (NC). The NC is at the origin of multiple cell types and plays a major role in the construction of the head, which has been an important asset in the evolutionary success of vertebrates. We discuss here the contribution of the rostral domain of the NC to craniofacial skeletogenesis. Moreover, recent data show that cephalic NC cells regulate the activity of secondary brain organizers, hence being critical for preotic brain development, a role that had not been suspected before. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Haroche S.,Kastler-Brossel Laboratory | Haroche S.,College de France
Reviews of Modern Physics | Year: 2013

Microwave photons trapped in a superconducting cavity constitute an ideal system to realize some of the thought experiments imagined by the founding fathers of quantum physics. The interaction of these trapped photons with Rydberg atoms crossing the cavity illustrates fundamental aspects of measurement theory. The experiments performed with this "photon box" at Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) belong to the domain of quantum optics called "cavity quantum electrodynamics." We have realized the nondestructive counting of photons, the recording of field quantum jumps, the preparation and reconstruction of "Schrödinger cat" states of radiation and the study of their decoherence, which provides a striking illustration of the transition from the quantum to the classical world. These experiments have also led to the demonstration of basic steps in quantum information processing, including the deterministic entanglement of atoms and the realization of quantum gates using atoms and photons as quantum bits. This lecture starts by an introduction stressing the connection between the ENS photon box and the ion-trap experiments of David Wineland, whose accompanying lecture recalls his own contribution to the field of single particle control. I give then a personal account of the early days of cavity quantum electrodynamics before describing the main experiments performed at ENS during the last 20 years and concluding by a discussion comparing our work to other researches dealing with the control of single quantum particles. © 2013 Nobel Foundation.

Artero V.,CNRS Chemistry and Biology of Metals Laboratory | Fontecave M.,College de France
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2013

Catalysis is a key enabling technology for solar fuel generation. A number of catalytic systems, either molecular/homogeneous or solid/heterogeneous, have been developed during the last few decades for both the reductive and oxidative multi-electron reactions required for fuel production from water or CO 2 as renewable raw materials. While allowing for a fine tuning of the catalytic properties through ligand design, molecular approaches are frequently criticized because of the inherent fragility of the resulting catalysts, when exposed to extreme redox potentials. In a number of cases, it has been clearly established that the true catalytic species is heterogeneous in nature, arising from the transformation of the initial molecular species, which should rather be considered as a pre-catalyst. Whether such a situation is general or not is a matter of debate in the community. In this review, covering water oxidation and reduction catalysts, involving noble and non-noble metal ions, we limit our discussion to the cases in which this issue has been directly and properly addressed as well as those requiring more confirmation. The methodologies proposed for discriminating homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis are inspired in part by those previously discussed by Finke in the case of homogeneous hydrogenation reaction in organometallic chemistry [J. A. Widegren and R. G. Finke, J. Mol. Catal. A, 2003, 198, 317-341]. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Changeux J.-P.,College de France
Drug Discovery Today: Technologies | Year: 2013

A brief historical overview of the concept of allosteric interaction is presented together with the different kinds of allosteric control recognized, in the past decades, with the model system of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels. Multiple levels of allosteric modulation are identified that include sites distributed in the extracellular ligand binding domain (e.g. Ca 2+ or benzodiazepines), the transmembrane domain (e.g. general anesthetic and various allosteric modulators) and the cytoplasmic domain, as potential targets for drug design. The new opportunities offered by the recent technological developments are discussed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Heard E.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Heard E.,College de France | Martienssen R.A.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Martienssen R.A.,Ecole Normale Superieure de Paris
Cell | Year: 2014

Since the human genome was sequenced, the term "epigenetics" is increasingly being associated with the hope that we are more than just the sum of our genes. Might what we eat, the air we breathe, or even the emotions we feel influence not only our genes but those of descendants? The environment can certainly influence gene expression and can lead to disease, but transgenerational consequences are another matter. Although the inheritance of epigenetic characters can certainly occur - particularly in plants - how much is due to the environment and the extent to which it happens in humans remain unclear. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

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