The information magazine of Inserm is scientific but accessible to a wider audience. Every quarter, it illustrates discoveries, debates and questions of a biomedical research in constant motion. Steep yourself in the translated special feature !
Inserm, le magazine no. 58
In the October 2023 issue, discover our special feature Ageing: What if we could reverse it?
While life expectancy and the number of centenarians have increased, old age remains inevitable. In the hope of changing the situation, many research teams worldwide and in France, in particular – at Inserm –, are tackling the incredible challenge of slowing or even reversing the ageing process. What is this process, exactly? Can we halt it already? What are the avenues for reversing it? Are we going to become immortal? And at what price? Read on for some responses.
Inserm, le magazine no. 57
In the July 2023 issue, discover our special feature The blood: Treating its diseases and so much more.
Blood is something that we all know – or at least think we know, because upon closer examination it turns out to be much more complex than it appears. When affected by a disease, the impacts go beyond its well-established functions of coagulation and organ oxygenation, making it hard to treat. And when we want it to tell us about our health, we sometimes need to look hard before pinpointing a reliable and robust characteristic of what is not working properly in our body. In this issue of the magazine, we plunge into this multifaceted – and for the moment irreplaceable – vital fluid.
Inserm, le magazine no. 56
In the April 2023 issue, discover our special feature The Joints: Vital Mechanisms Needing Better Protection.
On May 11–23, 2023 in Grenoble, the National Rheumatology Days will take place – an opportunity for health care professionals from all corners of France to discuss the latest advances in the field. There will be a lot of focus on joint diseases. Particularly painful, debilitating and affecting different age groups – and not just the elderly! – there is still no cure for them. Luckily, research in this area is moving fast. Read on for an overview of Inserm’s latest advances against joint diseases.
Inserm, le magazine no. 55
In the December 2022 issue, discover our special feature Cancers: Better Understanding for Better Treatment
Targeted therapies, next-generation antibodies, cell therapies, cancer vaccines… This entire therapeutic arsenal that has or will soon be revolutionizing the fight against cancer shares the same starting point: a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms at work within cancer cells and a more detailed understanding of how they interact with their close environment. To find out more, take a plunge with us into the heart of cancer biology.
Inserm, le magazine no. 54
In the September 2022 issue, discover our special feature called Consciousness: Modulating It to Improve Treatment
Hypnosis for pain, meditation to reduce anxiety, EMDR to restrain traumatic memories… Many approaches promise treatment through modulation of the consciousness. For a long time, they were dismissed by scientific research as being too esoteric. However, this is no longer the case! And what is more, other innovative approaches such as deep brain stimulation and psychedelics are now being studied. But what do we actually know about consciousness? Can we really manipulate it as we want? What methods are effective for modifying mental states in a controlled way, and for what indications? In this issue of the Inserm magazine, we take stock in light of recent findings in the field.
Inserm, le magazine no. 53
In the May 2022 issue, discover our special feature called Digitalhealth: Can We Predict Everything?
These days, digital tools are able to capture very subtle signals on different scales: in the functioning of an organism, the behavior of a population, or in our environment. Thanks to the analysis of big data, researchers are now aiming to formulate predictions about the development, spread, and progression of diseases. The outcome? More effective public health interventions and more personalized treatments. While the possibilities appear to be endless, the devil is in the detail. What can we really predict and prevent using health data at present? What are the effective and tangible applications for artificial intelligence? Are we not overestimating the benefits? Here we take a look at the knowledge and uncertainties... so that the opacity of digital technology is nothing more than a distant cloud.
Inserm, le magazine no. 52
In the January 2022 issue, discover our special feature called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome : A Real Disease?
Months after contracting even mild forms of Covid-19, some patients struggle to recover. Shopping, outings with friends, eating, brushing teeth… These everyday activities generate abnormal exhaustion. The feeling of the brain functioning in slow motion is coupled with unrefreshing sleep and a state of diffuse confusion. Fortunately, these symptoms resolve on their own in most cases. But an unlucky few could develop myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, which is diagnosed from the delayed intolerance of exertion. For the moment, no characteristic biological causes have been formally identified. Often described as a psychosomatic disorder or mistaken for depression, it is nonetheless very real. And avenues for research into the mechanisms involved are finally emerging! Read on for an overview of the research into this syndrome that continues to remain under-recognized in France and to which the pandemic, ironically, is bringing a fresh perspective.
Inserm, le magazine no. 51
In the November 2021 issue, discover our special feature called Gynecological Health – An End to the Taboos?
These days, we have extensive knowledge about reproduction. Thanks to which, women have access to a wide range of treatments and technologies to help them have children, even in the event of fertility problems or high-risk pregnancies. However, the issues encountered by women that have no direct link to having children are largely unknown or even ignored, especially when they concern gynecological pain or mental health. The outcome being that very little is known about the mechanisms of such common conditions as premenstrual syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, and even endometriosis, and we remain helpless in providing relief to sufferers. They are perceived as minor and trivial issues. How is research progressing in these areas? What does this situation say about sex-based inequalities in research, diagnosis, treatment development, and access to care?
Inserm, le magazine no. 50
In the July 2021 issue, discover our special feature called The gut – Does It Get the Attention It Deserves?
Looking after our gut is considered the key to good health. Seen as the center of the body and of many of its essential functions, the balance of this microbiota site is associated with the vitality of the whole body. Yet, in our modern society, it appears to be subject to a growing number of afflictions. These not only cause abdominal pain but also play a role in disorders which, on first glance, do not seem to be linked to our intestines. Are our diets responsible for these diseases? Are they also our means of treating them? Given the increasing medicalization of diet, we have devoted this issue of the Inserm magazine to sorting the wheat from the chaff.
Inserm, le magazine no. 49
In the April 2021 issue, discover our special feature called Zoonotic diseases – Animals: friends of foes?
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis is a reminder that far from being a thing of the past, infectious diseases of animal origin, or zoonoses, represent a major threat to humanity. The research community is reorganizing itself in the hope of being better prepared for similar health risks in the future. What do we know about zoonoses? What challenges do we need to address to guard against them? What major advances have been made recently?
Inserm, le magazine no. 48
In the December 2020 issue, discover our special feature called Mental Health: New Approaches?
The subject of mental illness is all too often considered taboo. We struggle to acknowledge them as commonplace disorders that can affect us and our loved ones, and we struggle to take action when needed. It is difficult, then, to associate the private torments of our intimate psyche with more general disorders, which could have an environmental or biological origin and could be studied on a human group scale. Nowadays, the challenge facing biomedical research is to elucidate these links – not just to provide better care but also to shatter the stereotypes that stand in the way of that care. Because, no, it is not just in our heads.
Inserm, le magazine no. 47
In the July 2020 issue, discover our special feature called Diet: What will we be eating in 2050?
What will we be eating in 2050? This question will be at the heart of a public debate to take place at the French Senate before the end of the year. Preparatory hearings have enabled the senators to identify a number of major trends, including local production, organic farming, cultured meats, algae, and insects. So what can we expect in 2050? Will we all be eating organic? Will insects become a staple? Will meat come from the laboratory or the farm? Read on for some insights from recent research and reflection by experts from Inserm and its partner institutes.
Inserm, le magazine no. 46
In the March 2020 issue, discover our special feature called Hearing: Hopeless decline?
The sense of hearing is of near vital importance. Animals use it as one way of detecting and locating danger. It contributes to our survival as humans too, and also plays a major emotional role through the perception of environmental sounds and the enjoyment of music. Our ability to hear gives us valuable information about our surroundings and helps us to memorize places and events. First and foremost, however, is the decisive social role given to it by its involvement in verbal communication. Hearing is about listening and understanding what others say, express, and do, it is about being able to respond to them and join with their activities. Yet not only is this sense fragile, we also do not take care of it. We willingly expose our ears to frequent concert-going and headphone use, for example, and not so willingly to urban noise pollution. To make matters worse, the sensory structures that decipher sounds cannot regenerate: their destruction is permanent. Luckily, research in this field is in full swing. Although there are still no cures, impressive rehabilitation techniques have now proved successful and we can hope to be able to treat certain forms of hearing loss in the decades to come.
Inserm, le magazine no. 45
In the December 2019 issue, discover our special feature called Autism: A Multifaceted Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder thought to affect 700,000 people in France, named after a spectrum of characteristics that first manifest in early childhood. Destined to evolve throughout life according to a developmental pathway that differs from one individual to the next, the signs of ASD–when bothersome–are likely to respond well to education and rehabilitation programs, or innovative therapies. Nowadays, the challenge we face is multifaceted. Before anything else, the factors characteristic of ASD need to be diagnosed early. Then, to guide its progression, it is necessary to have in-depth knowledge of its multiple characteristics, how they fit together, the underlying biological mechanisms, and to anticipate the distress they can cause for people with the condition and their loved ones. Finally, it is about reflecting on their fulfilment within society and more broadly on quality of life, particularly for adults… because ASD does not end at 18.
Inserm, le magazine no. 44
In the September 2019 issue, discover our special feature called Environmental Health Overcoming Uncertainty
“How can we live healthily in a contaminated world?” A question which is justified, given the latest reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the World Bank on the state of our environment. In our globalized economy, no manufactured products are spared the substances supplied by the chemical industries, and production creates pollution through the extraction of raw materials, transport, and storage of waste, placing the ecosystems of our planet under unprecedented strain. We feel that our living environments are steeped in invisible threats, bringing with them new disease. But this fear is primarily the symptom of the general realization throughout society that the environment is something upon which we depend. At present, while our societies are trying to initiate an environmental revolution, new forms of knowledge are being mobilized within and also beyond research, in order to understand what is really affecting our bodies.