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Cesarean deliveries in India: too many and yet too few

Had India fallen prey to the epidemic of cesarean currently affecting many countries in the world? Thanks to the data issued from the latest National Family and Health Survey, Christophe Z. Guilmoto and Alexandre Dumont, both IRD researchers, have been able to chart some of the main trends and...

Mercury levels in tuna: Verifying the size, species, and origin!

Tuna is a widely-loved food around the world, but it can harbour a toxin: methylmercury. According to a recent study, the levels of this toxin in Central and Southwest Pacific tuna depends not only on the size and species of the fish, but also their geographic origin. These results are crucial for...

The effects of gold mining in rivers in French Guiana

A study conducted in the French Guiana basin where artisanal gold mining in occurs has shown there is mercury in the environment from these activities. It is even found in the piscivorous fish and indigenous communities that eat food from the rivers affected. These are important and innovative...

Amazon groundwater quantified at last!

As the Amazon basin is difficult to access, the condition of its water table remained virtually unknown. The mystery was solved thanks to an assessment made by an international team linked to several IRD units and led by LEGOS researchers. This result is all the more interesting in that access to...
digue-d-atar

Malaria: P. vivax detected in the oasis of Atar

For the first time, the presence of the Plasmodium vivax parasite has been confirmed in Atar, northern Mauritania: it is responsible for most cases of malaria. It is therefore crucial to take every step to avoid an epidemic, not just in Mauritania but also in North Africa, or even beyond, notably in...
test-arsenic

The Uros of Bolivia, adept at neutralising arsenic

A study of women from various Bolivian communities shows that these peoples drink water containing elevated levels of arsenic on a daily basis. While the toxic effects of the regular ingestion of this substance are well known, these women’s bodies seem particularly adept at “neutralising” the poison...
trois-jeunes-indiennes-vues-de-dos

How the world deals with abortion

Voluntary termination of pregnancy is the subject of ideological debate as well as health policies. Demographer Agnès Guillaume, co-author with Clémentine Rossier of an extensive review of the subject*, sheds light on the right, access to and practice of abortion in the world today.
falaise-de-glace_glacier-noir

The Achilles heel of Asia’s black glaciers

Why do Asian glaciers melt more slowly than others? Glaciologists are working on this phenomenon, focusing in particular on the many “black glaciers” in the region, covered in moraine debris. They reveal some of their specific characteristics and vulnerabilities.
recif-moorea-2018

The resistance of the Moorea corals

Experts in ocean ecology are investigating the health of coral reefs, put to the test by the increase in natural and anthropogenic disturbances. While there is growing concern about their overall future, certain reefs resist repeated attack, but however lose their diversity.
black-bass

Biodiversity of freshwater fish in turmoil

In the last few centuries, 15% of new fish species have been introduced by Man into rivers across the world. Researchers have found that these introductions alter the ecosystem to a much larger extent than originally anticipated.
ecole-nyamsong-cameroun

Onchocerciasis and epilepsy: a strong temporal link

There is a long-running debate within the scientific community as to whether onchocerciasis causes epilepsy. For the first time, a cohort study clearly shows a temporal connection between the two.
Flood in Morocco's Tafilalet Valley

Towards the intensification of extreme rainfall events in southern Europe

For the first time, a team including an IRD researcher studied the impact of climate change on extreme rainfall patterns in the entire Mediterranean region. This research is crucial to assessing the risk of severe flooding in this region.
barge-d-orpaillage-sur-le-maroni

The Maroni River threatened by gold mines

How have the environmental changes that have occurred in recent decades in French Guiana, including gold extraction in the hinterland, affected the Maroni River? A team involving IRD researchers analysed changes in sediment flows in this water course since 2000. Their findings are alarming.
hbv-institut-pasteur

Liver cancer: the Peruvian exception

Scientists and physicians are attempting to decipher the ins and outs of the atypical epidemiology of liver cancer in Peru, where young people are particularly affected by the disease. Their research highlights risk factors which were hitherto unknown.
chimpanze-reserve-de-la-lekedi

Malaria: cracking the genome of P. vivax-like

Research by experts in primates, mosquitoes and malaria parasites sheds light on the emergence of a form of the disease which affects human populations throughout the tropical world. It opens up new avenues for combating this scourge.
Fruit trees and legumes combined with food crops

Carbon storage: what matters is the input!

After 15 years of climate smart agricultural practices in Madagascar, researchers are categorical: while these alternative methods help increase soil carbon storage, their effectiveness varies substantially. The assessment must therefore be carried out on the scale of the territory.
Wild form of millet in the Sahara

Genetic diversity in millet: a past and future adaptive advantage

Having sequenced the millet genome, an international consortium involving French researchers from IRD, Indian, Chinese researchers and numerous laboratories from the North and South, studied different wild and cultivated varieties. This allowed them to trace the history of cultivated millet and...
The monitoring of antiretroviral treatments by the medical staff affects the health of HIV patients.

Making the most of HIV treatments in Cameroon

A study on the effectiveness of VIH/AIDS treatments in Cameroon, conducted for the first time in urban and rural areas, highlights insufficient treatment success rates. It calls for the enhanced biological monitoring and support of patients by caregivers, including in the hinterland.
Root nodules of Discaria (Order: Rosales), a non-legume species capable of nitrogen-fixing symbiosis.

Nitrogen-fixing symbioses reveal themselves

Recent research has revealed the origin and evolution of symbiotic relationships between certain plants and soil bacteria in order to use atmospheric nitrogen. This knowledge could ultimately contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture minimising the use of chemical fertilisers.
Water run-off on degraded soil and gully erosion due to flooding, in the Mélé Haoussa basin in Niger

New hydroclimatic conditions in the Sahel

The latest figures on soil and climate help explain the enigmatic ups and downs observed in Sahelian hydrology for decades. Knowledge of the mechanisms involved paves the way for practical solutions to adapt agriculture to new environmental conditions.