Max Planck Institute News

Rare Quasar Quartet Reveals Massive Structure in Distant Universe

May 22, 2015

1 Comment

Quasar Quartet Reveals Rare Massive Structure in Distant Universe

Astronomers have discovered four active black holes situated in close proximity to one another in the distant universe, surrounded by a giant nebula of cool dense gas. Using the W.M. Keck observatory in Hawaii, a group of astronomers led by Joseph Hennawi of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy have discovered the first quadruple quasar: […]

Continue reading...

LBT Reveals Lava Lake on Jupiter’s Moon Io

May 12, 2015

0 Comments

LBT Reveals Lava Lake on Io

The Large Binocular Telescope provides the first detailed observations of a lava lake on Jupiter’s moon Io. With the first detailed observations of a lava lake on a moon of Jupiter, the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory in Arizona places itself as the forerunner of the next generation of Extremely Large Telescopes. The applied high-resolution imaging […]

Continue reading...

Epithelial Cell-Cell Communication Crucial to Proper Kidney Function

April 30, 2015

0 Comments

New Findings May Help Improve the Regeneration of Damaged Organs

Researchers identify molecules that help cells to pinpoint their position, allowing for the kidneys to function properly. For the kidneys to function flawlessly, millions of cells must be arranged precisely according to a specified blueprint. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim and Philipps-Üniversität Marburg have now discovered […]

Continue reading...

Modern Humans Triggered the Demise of Neanderthals

April 27, 2015

0 Comments

Scientists Decipher the Demise of Neandertals

A newly published study reveals that Homo sapiens belonging to the Protoaurignacian culture may have been the ultimate cause for the demise of Neanderthals. Researchers from the University of Bologna, Italy, and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, analyzed two deciduous teeth from the prehistoric sites of Grotta di Fumane and […]

Continue reading...

Scientists Provide Novel Tools to Study Enzyme Catalysis

April 23, 2015

0 Comments

Controlling Enzyme Reactions at Atomic Level

A newly published study details how scientists used a chemical probe to dissect individual catalytic steps of enoyl-thioester reductases, validating an active site tyrosine as the cryptic proton donor and explaining how it had eluded definitive identification. Enzymes are naturally existing biocatalysts of great potential for application in sustainable chemistry. Yet, controlling enzyme reactions at […]

Continue reading...

Oldest Known Human Ancestors May Have Had Precision Grip Capabilities

April 20, 2015

0 Comments

Oldest Human Ancestors May Have Had Precision Grip Capabilities

Researchers present a kinematic model of thumb–index precision grip and manipulative movement based on bony hand morphology in a broad sample of extant primates and fossil hominins, revealing that even the oldest available fossil hominins may have shared comparable precision grip manipulation with modern humans. Scientists are coming to grips with the superior grasping ability […]

Continue reading...

New Method of High-Resolution Whole-Brain Staining

April 13, 2015

0 Comments

New Staining Method to Reveal Circuit Diagram of the Brain

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology have developed a special staining method that brings the reconstruction of all nerve cells and their connections within reach. Learning, it is widely believed is based on changes in the connections between nerve cells. The knowing which nerve cells is connected to which other nerve cell would […]

Continue reading...

Reg3beta Regulates Healing Process after Myocardial Infarction

March 25, 2015

0 Comments

Reg3beta Controls Healing Process in the Heart

A new study from the Max Planck Institute details how Reg3beta controls the wound-healing process in the myocardium by attracting immune cells to the infarct tissue. In the wake of a myocardial infarction, parts of the myocardium die and are replaced by scar tissue. The formation and stability of scar tissue is key to the […]

Continue reading...

“Chemical Fingerprints” Could Help Scientists Recognize Life on the Surface of Exoplanets

March 20, 2015

0 Comments

Surface Biosignatures of Exoplanets May Help Detect Extraterrestrial Life

A new catalog of reflectance spectra for a diverse range of pigmented microorganisms may help scientists recognize life on the surface of planets orbiting stars beyond our solar system. A team of astronomers and biologists has recorded the “chemical fingerprints” of 137 different species of microorganism. In future, this could help to recognize life on […]

Continue reading...

Merlin Protein Promotes Effective and Rapid Wound Healing

March 5, 2015

1 Comment

Merlin Promotes Rapid Wound Healing

New research from the Max Planck Institute details how the protein merlin regulates collective cell movement, promoting effective and rapid wound healing. Cells also follow a herd instinct, and they thereby communicate in a magical collective way. This is because a protein known as merlin, named after the mythical wizard of medieval England, plays an […]

Continue reading...

Scientists Discover a Gene for Brain Size

March 4, 2015

1 Comment

Scientists Identify a Gene for Human Brain Size

A team of researchers has identified for the first time a gene (ARHGAP11B) that is only present in humans and contributes to the reproduction of basal brain stem cells, triggering a folding of the neocortex. About 99 percent of human genes are shared with chimpanzees. Only the small remainder sets us apart. However, we have […]

Continue reading...

Nanotubular Structures Enable a Direct Exchange of Nutrients Between Bacteria

February 23, 2015

0 Comments

Bacteria Connect to Each Other Via Nanotubes

New research from the Max Planck Institute shows that some bacteria can form nanotubular structures between single cells that enable a direct exchange of nutrients. It is well-known that bacteria can support each others’ growth and exchange nutrients. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, and their colleagues at the […]

Continue reading...

Astronomers Discover a Rare Planet, Kepler-432b

February 13, 2015

2 Comments

Astronomers Discover Rare Planet

Astronomers have discovered a rare red planet that has the six times the mass of Jupiter, but is about the same size. Two research groups of Heidelberg astronomers have independently of each other discovered a rare planet. The celestial body, called Kepler-432b, is one of the most dense and massive planets known so far. The […]

Continue reading...

HESS Discovers New Gamma Ray Sources in Large Magellanic Cloud

January 27, 2015

1 Comment

New Gamma Ray Sources Discovered in Large Magellanic Cloud

The H.E.S.S. telescope system has discovered three extremely luminous gamma-ray sources in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Once again, the gamma ray observatory H.E.S.S. has demonstrated its detecting capabilities: in the Large Magellanic Cloud, the High Energy Stereoscopic System discovered most luminous high-energy gamma-ray sources. These are three objects of different type: a powerful pulsar wind […]

Continue reading...

Magnetic Fields in Dark Clouds Help Form Massive Stars

January 20, 2015

0 Comments

Astronomers Observe Polarized Dust Emission of Two Dark Clouds

A new study shows for the first time that high magnetization sets the stage for the formation of massive stars with 8 solar masses or more. Magnetic fields in massive dark clouds are strong enough to support the regions against collapse due to their own gravity. A study lead by researchers at the Max Planck […]

Continue reading...

New Insights Into Why Some Crystals Jump, While Others Crumble

January 13, 2015

0 Comments

Why Some Crystals Jump and Others Crumble

A team of researchers has discovered the force that makes the organometallic compound palladium hexafluoroacetylacetonate jump. This thermosalient effect could potentially be applied in artificial muscles and actuators. Crystals are not as stationary as you might think. A crystal of an organometallic compound containing palladium, for example, downright jumps from a hotplate once it reaches […]

Continue reading...

Signal Molecule Gives Rise to New Blood Stem Cells in Embryos

January 2, 2015

0 Comments

Molecule Gives Rise to New Blood Stem Cells in Embryos

A newly published study from the Max Planck Institute details how interferon gamma plays a key role in the development of blood stem cells during the early phase of embryonic development. In the early stage of embryonic development, stem cells with defined tasks, including blood-forming stem cells, gradually emerge. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute […]

Continue reading...