Max Planck Institute News

Physicists Image and Control the Motion of the Two Electrons in a Helium Atom

December 18, 2014

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Image of the Motion of the Two Electrons in a Helium Atom

Using attosecond-timed laser flashes, a team of physicists has become the first to image and control the motion of the two electrons in a helium atom. Physicists are continuously advancing the control they can exert over matter. A German-Spanish team working with researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg has now […]

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Toxic Fruits Increases Fertility in Female Drosophila Sechellia Flies

December 9, 2014

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Dopamine Precursor in Toxic Fruits Increases Fertility

In a new study, researchers from the Max Planck Institute reveal that a dopamine precursor in the toxic fruits of the morinda tree increases fertility in female Drosophila sechellia flies. In the course of evolution, animals have become adapted to certain food sources, sometimes even to plants or to fruits that are actually toxic. The […]

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Researchers Demonstrate Superconductivity without Cooling

December 4, 2014

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Superconductivity without Cooling

New research details how scientists used an infrared laser pulse to briefly modify the structure of a high-temperature superconductor, removing its electrical resistance at room temperature. Superconductivity is a remarkable phenomenon: superconductors can transport electric current without any resistance and thus without any losses whatsoever. It is already in use in some niche areas, for […]

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Biologists Decode the 3D Structure of the Calcium Channel

December 2, 2014

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Scientists Decode the 3D Structure of the Calcium Channel

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund have decoded the three-dimensional structure of the calcium channel with unprecedented accuracy. Whenever muscles contract, so-called ryanodine receptors come into play. Calcium ions, which are ultimately responsible for the contraction of muscle cells, are released from storage organs and flow through these ion channels. […]

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Researchers Pinpoint Common Culprits for Autoimmunity in Plants

November 20, 2014

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Overzealous Plant Immune System Can Be Deadly

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology have now pinpointed the most common culprits for autoimmunity in plants. Plants are under permanent attack by a multitude of pathogens. To win the battle against fungi, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, they have developed a complex and effective immune system. And just as in humans, […]

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Scientists Develop a Nanolamp with a Lightning-Fast Switch

November 18, 2014

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A Nanolamp with Lightning-Fast Switch

Scientists have developed a light source which converts an electrical voltage pulse into a light pulse by means of a single molecule, possibly serving as a prototype for nano-components that convert electrical into optical signals with gigahertz frequencies. Information is processed and transmitted by ever-smaller components, sometimes with electrons and sometimes with light. Scientists at […]

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New Algorithm Predicts the Evolution of Viruses

November 12, 2014

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Algorithm Can Predict the Evolution of Viruses

Using the branches of a genealogical tree as reference, a team of scientists has developed an algorithm that can predict the evolution of asexual organisms such as viruses or cancer cells. For a long time, prognoses forecasting the evolutionary future of organisms were considered mere speculation. Together with researchers from Cambridge and Santa Barbara, USA, […]

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Scientists Construct Microswimmers for Medical Applications

November 10, 2014

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Researchers Develop Nano Devices That Can be Propelled Through Media Similar to Bodily Fluids

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute have constructed swimming bodies that are small enough to be used in bodily fluids or even individual cells, and they are able to navigate through complex biological fluids. In the 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage, a submarine complete with crew is shrunk in size so that it can navigate through […]

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Chimpanzees Plan Their Breakfast Time, Type and Location to Acquire Sufficient Food Intake

October 28, 2014

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Chimpanzees Plan Their Breakfast Time and Location

New research from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology shows that wild chimpanzees plan their breakfast time, type and location when food supplies are short. How do our close relatives, the chimpanzees, acquire sufficient food when times are lean? By studying wild chimpanzees in the Taï National Park in Côte d’Ivoire researchers of the […]

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Astronomers Create 3D Map of the Distant Universe

October 24, 2014

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A 3D Map of the Adolescent Universe

Using a new technique similar to x-ray computer-tomographic imaging, a team of astronomers has created the first three-dimensional map of the adolescent Universe – just 3 billion years after the Big Bang. Using extremely faint light from galaxies 10.8-billion light years away, scientists have created one of the most complete, three-dimensional maps of a slice […]

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Temperature Variability Across the World Alters the Ecological Impacts of Seasons

October 8, 2014

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Study Reveals Climate Change Alters the Ecological Impacts of Seasons

New research from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology and the University of Wyoming details how changes in temperature variability across the globe are altering the environment. If more of the world’s climate becomes like that in tropical zones, it could potentially affect crops, insects, malaria transmission, and even confuse migration patterns of birds […]

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Researchers Investigated the Charge Transport Perovskite Solar Cells

October 1, 2014

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New Insights How Perovskite Solar Cells Can Be Further Optimized

New insights into the working mechanism of perovskite-based solar cells could help these solar cells play a prominent role among the renewable energy carriers in future. Conventional silicon solar cells could have an inexpensive competitor in the near future. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, together with scientists from Switzerland […]

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Astronomers Detect Iso-Propyl Cyanide Close to the Galactic Center

September 26, 2014

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Astronomers Detect the Presence of Amino Acids in Interstellar Space

A team of astronomers has detected the presence of iso-propyl cyanide in interstellar space, opening a new frontier in the chemistry of star formation. There is large number of organic molecules in space. One of which, iso-propyl cyanide (i-C3H7CN), was now discovered by scientists in a giant gas cloud called Sagittarius B2, a region of […]

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Researchers Track Interactions Between Individual DNA Molecule Segments

September 25, 2014

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Single Unlabeled Biomolecules Detected Through Light

Using an optical microstructure and gold nanoparticles, researchers at the Max Planck Institute have amplified the interaction of light with DNA to the extent that they can now track interactions between individual DNA molecule segments. Being able to track individual biomolecules and observe them at work is every biochemist’s dream. This would enable the scientists […]

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Zebrafish Larva Eye Distinguishes Between Prey and Predator

September 18, 2014

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Eye of Zebrafish Larva Distinguishes Between Prey and Predator

A new study from the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research reveals how the eye of a zebrafish larva can already distinguish between prey and predator. Red or green? Small or large? Fast or slow? Humans and animals rely on their visual organs to classify objects in their environment. Decisions about how we best respond […]

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