Max Planck Institute News

Astronomers Gaze Deep Into the Heart of Active Galaxy BL Lacertae

January 28, 2016

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BL Lacertae the Hottest Hearth in Space

Astronomers observe microwave radiation from the vicinity of the black hole in the active galactic nucleus known as BL Lacertae, which is 900 million light years. A black hole lurks at the center of the active galaxy in a distance of 900 million light years, known as “BL Lacerta.” Microwave radiation is emitted from the […]

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Biochemists Identify Another Piece of the Parkinson’s Disease Pathology Puzzle

January 28, 2016

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Researchers Identify another Piece in the Parkinson's Disease Pathology Puzzle

An international team has discovered that the LRRK2 kinase regulates cellular trafficking by deactivating Rab proteins. This finding illuminates a novel route for therapeutic development and may accelerate testing of LRRK2 inhibitors as a disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson’s, the second most common neurodegenerative disease. An international public-private research consortium has identified and validated a cellular […]

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New Study Shows Neanderthals Boosted Our Immune System

January 7, 2016

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New Research Shows Neanderthals Boosted Our Immune System

A new study from the Max Planck Institute reveals that the mixing of archaic human forms played an important role in shaping the immune system of modern humans. When modern humans met Neanderthals in Europe and the two species began interbreeding many thousands of years ago, the exchange left humans with gene variations that have […]

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Astronomers Present the Effelsberg-Bonn HI-Survey

December 17, 2015

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The Effelsberg–Bonn HI Survey First Data Release

Astronomers from Bonn University and the Max Planck Institute present the Effelsberg-Bonn HI-Survey. Radio astronomers from Bonn University and the Max Planck Institute have surveyed the entire northern sky in the light of the neutral hydrogen (HI) 21-cm line using the Effelsberg 100-m dish. This effort, led by Jürgen Kerp (Argelander Institute for Astronomy) and […]

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Bacteria Can Be Spatially Excluded from the Exchange of Amino Acids

December 9, 2015

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Study Shows Bacteria Can Be Spatially Excluded from the Exchange of Amino Acids

New research shows that bacteria, which reciprocally exchange amino acids, stabilize their partnership on two-dimensional surfaces and limit the access of non-cooperating bacteria to the exchanged nutrients. In natural microbial communities, different bacterial species often exchange nutrients by releasing amino acids and vitamins into their growth environment, thus feeding other bacterial cells. Even though the […]

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New Research Reveals the Mystery of Missing Ordinary Matter

December 3, 2015

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Study Details the Mystery of Ordinary Matter

New research shows that the majority of missing ordinary matter is found in the form of a very hot gas associated with intergalactic filaments. Matter known as ordinary, which makes up everything we know, corresponds to only 5% of the Universe. Approximately half of this percentage still eluded detection. Numerical simulations made it possible to […]

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New Model Maps the Development of Stem Cells in the Human Body

November 13, 2015

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New Model Analyses of the Development of Stem Cells

Using the telomeres on the chromosomes of blood cells, scientists have designed a mathematical model for mapping the development of populations of haematopoietic stem cells with advancing age. Stem cells ensure the regeneration and maintenance of the body’s tissues. Diseases like cancer can arise if they spiral out of control. In collaboration with doctors from […]

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Astronomers Reveal How Stars Reach Masses of More Than a Hundred Times Our Sun

November 3, 2015

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Astronomers Reveal How Stars Grow into Heavyweights

A team of astronomers has discovered a stable structure around one of the most massive, newly forming stars in our galaxy, revealing how some stars manage to reach masses of more than a hundred times that of our Sun. Stars count lightweights and heavyweights among their number. All are born in clouds of gas and […]

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Scattered Light Gaps in Protoplanetary Disks Don’t Always Signal Planets

November 3, 2015

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New Research Shows Disk Gaps Don't Always Signal Planets

New research from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics shows that a gap in the dusty disk circling a star could be a sort of cosmic illusion and not the sign of a hidden planet after all. Cambridge, Massachusetts – When astronomers study protoplanetary disks of gas and dust that surround young stars, they sometimes spot […]

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Results from Ulysses Interstellar Dust Measurements Revealed

October 21, 2015

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Researchers Have Analyzed the Ulysses Interstellar Dust Measurements

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute and the International Space Science Institute have analyzed the Ulysses interstellar dust measurements, revealing that dust particles can change more strongly than previously thought. When in 1990 the solar probe Ulysses embarked on its 19-year-long exploration tour, the participating researchers turned their attention not only to our Sun, but […]

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ESO and Hubble Reveal Fast-Moving, Wave-Like Features in the Debris Disk Around AU Microscopii

October 11, 2015

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Hubble Reveals Unusual Structures in AU Microscopii

Using Hubble data and new images from SPHERE, astronomers have identified sub-structures and tracked changes within the debris disk that surrounds AU Microscopii. As many other stars, AU Microscopii is surrounded by a dust disk. Now researchers – including scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg – have discovered unusual structures in […]

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Is There a Guide to Long Life? Scientists Examine Life Expectancy Disparities between Population Groups

October 11, 2015

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Is There a Guide to Long Life?

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute examine why life expectancy disparities between population groups have been increasing and see if there is a guide to a long life. At age 40, Finns, Swedes, and Norwegians have reached the approximate mid-point of life. It is well known that, on average, whether an individual has more or […]

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New Nanotechnology Allows for Touchless Optical Finger Motion Tracking

October 1, 2015

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Scientists Are Developing Advanced Touchless Displays

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute have developed nanostructures that change their electrical and even their optical properties as soon as a finger comes anywhere near them, making touchless optical finger tracking possible. While touchscreens are practical, touchless displays would be even more so. That’s because, despite touchscreens having enabled the smartphone’s advance into our […]

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Neurologists Speed Up Connectome Analysis by More Than 10-Fold

September 30, 2015

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Scientists Speed Up Reconstruction of Connections between Nerve Cells

Using a new tools called SegEM, scientists from the Max Planck Institute are able to speed up the reconstruction of connections between nerve cells more than ten-fold. Unraveling the connectivity maps between nerve cells in brains is a huge scientific endeavor – called connectomics. The main limitation to mapping large parts of the brain is […]

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Free Mate Choice Enhances Reproductive Success

September 15, 2015

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Free Mate Choice Enhances Reproductive Success

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute show that behavioral compatibility plays an important role in mate choice in zebra finches. Zebra finches allowed to breed with their preferred partner achieved a 37 percent higher reproductive success compared to pairs that were forced to mate. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen observed […]

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Scientists Discover Structural Change in Manganese Steel

September 15, 2015

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Researchers Discover Structural Change in Manganese Steel

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute reveal that the crystal structure of metals can change at linear defects, which should affect the properties of the materials. Steel has already been around for roughly 3000 years and in several thousand variations today – yet it is always good for a surprise. Scientists at the Max-Planck-Institute für […]

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High Density Wind Farms Generate Less Electricity Than Thought

September 8, 2015

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High Density Wind Farms Generate Less Electricity Than Previously Thought

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry show that large wind farms with a high density of installed capacity slow down the wind and generate less electricity than previously thought. Less energy can be withdrawn from wind than was assumed up to now. For example, a previous prediction from a 2013 study by the […]

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XMM-Newton Views Turbulent Events at the Center of the Milky Way

August 22, 2015

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The Galactic Black Hole and Its Surrounding Emission in the Milky Way

Using the XMM-Newton X-ray Satellite, astronomers from the Max Planck Institute observe the events around the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Who left the deep scars on the heart of our Milky Way? In their hunt for elusive clues that might reveal the culprit, an international team of astronomers at the […]

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