Max Planck Institute News

Researchers Develop Shape-Programmable Miniscule Robots

September 27, 2016

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Scientists Develop Shape-Programmable Magnetic Soft Matter

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute have developed functional elastomers that can be activated by magnetic fields. One day, microrobots may be able to swim through the human body like sperm or paramecia to carry out medical functions in specific locations. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have developed functional […]

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Researchers Measure Magnetic Fields in the Vicinity of a Black Hole

September 20, 2016

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Astronomers Measure Magnetic Fields in the Vicinity of the Central Black Hole

A team of researchers has measured the magnetic fields in the vicinity of the supermassive black hole at the center of NGC 1052. Two particle jets shoot out from the heart of active galaxy NGC 1052 at the speed of light, apparently originating in the vicinity of a massive black hole. A team of researchers […]

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Mysterious X-Ray Signal Most Likely from Sulfur Ions, Not Dark Matter

September 6, 2016

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Mysterious X-Ray Signal Most Likely Originates from Sulfur Ions

New research shows that a recently discovered mysterious X-ray signal most likely originates from sulfur ions, not from dark matter. A mysterious X-ray signal from clusters of galaxies recently caused some excitement among astronomers: Does it perhaps originate from dark matter, which makes up around 80 percent of the matter in the universe, but which […]

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Scientists Show How Synapses Are Arranged with Respect to Each Other

July 19, 2016

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How Synapses Are Arranged with Respect to Each Other

For the first time, neurobiologists show that contact points between specific neuron types are clustered in groups on the target neuron. The cerebral cortex resembles a vast switchboard. Countless lines carrying information about the environment, for example from the sensory organs, converge in the cerebral cortex. In order to direct the flow of data into […]

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Researchers Develop A Universal Quantum Gate

July 13, 2016

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Quantum Gate Allows Light Particles to Interact with Each Other

Scientists have now developed a universal quantum gate, which could become the key component in a quantum computer. Light particles completely ignore each other. In order that these particles can nevertheless switch each other when processing quantum information, researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching have now developed a universal quantum […]

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New Study Improves Our Understanding of Intercellular Communication

July 6, 2016

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Biologists Improve Our Understanding of Intercellular Communication

New research reveals how cells can pack and release active ephrins and Eph receptors through extracellular vesicles, improving our understanding of intercellular communication and paving the way for new therapeutic strategies. Eph receptors and their partner proteins, the ephrins, are vital for intercellular communication. In the developing brain, they guide young neurons to the right […]

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New Equation Shows How Other People’s Fortunes Affect Our Happiness

June 17, 2016

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How Other People's Fortunes Affect Our Happiness

A new equation shows how our happiness depends not only on what happens to us and how this compares to other people.The team developed an equation to predict happiness in 2014, highlighting the importance of expectations, and the new updated equation also takes into account other people’s fortunes. The study, published in Nature Communications, found […]

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Dual-Phase Alloys Capable of High Strength and Ductility

June 1, 2016

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Alloys Overcome the Strength–Ductility Ttrade Off

Using a new strategy in the development of steel, scientists are able to create alloys capable of both high strength and ductility. For the steel industry, there may be a way out of the dilemma that has existed since people began processing metal. Scientists from the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung in Düsseldorf (Germany) are presenting a […]

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New Research Shows Neanderthals Were Born with Wide Bodies and Robust Bones

May 25, 2016

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New Study Shows Neanderthals Were Stocky from Birth

Scientists investigated whether the differences in physique between Neanderthals and modern humans are genetic or caused by differences in lifestyle, finding that Neanderthals’ wide bodies and robust bones were formed by birth. If a Neanderthal were to sit down next to us on the underground, we would probably first notice his receding forehead, prominent brow […]

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Astronomers Reveal the Secret Life of the Orion Nebula

May 16, 2016

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Secrets of the Orion Nebula Revealed

A team of astronomers reveal how the interplay of magnetic fields and gravitation in the gas cloud lead to the birth of new stars. Space bears witness to a constant stream of star births. And whole star clusters are often formed at the same time – and within a comparatively short period. Amelia Stutz and […]

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New Study Details How Bacteria Become Individualists

May 9, 2016

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Bacteria Cells Respond Differently to Lack of Nutrients

No two bacteria are identical – even when they are genetically the same. New research reveals the conditions under which bacteria become individualists and how they help their group grow when times get tough. Whether you are a human or a bacterium, your environment determines how you can develop. In particular, there are two fundamental […]

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New Research May Help in the Development of Nano-Optical Transistors for a Photonic Computer

May 5, 2016

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A Step Towards the Photonic Computer

Researchers show that a single molecule allows a beam of light with a few photons to be controlled – a step towards the photonic computer. The Jedi knights of the Star Wars saga are engaged in an impossible fight. This does not result from the superiority of the enemy empire, but from physics because laser […]

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Children of Older Mothers Are Healthier, Taller and Obtain More Education

April 12, 2016

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Children of Older Mothers Do Better

New research shows that the benefits associated with being born in a later year outweigh the biological risks associated with being born to an older mother. Children of older mothers are healthier, taller and obtain more education than the children of younger mothers. The reason is that in industrialized countries educational opportunities are increasing, and […]

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How Extraterrestrial Astronomers May Have a Chance of Discovering Earth

March 2, 2016

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The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence in Earth's Solar Transit Zone

New research suggests that future searches for habitable planets and for the signals from extraterrestrial observers focus on that part of the sky in which potential distant observers of the planetary system can notice the yearly transit of the Earth in front of the Sun. Are we alone in the universe? To answer this question, […]

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Astronomers Identify the Precise Location of a Fast Radio Burst in a Distant Galaxy

February 25, 2016

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Radio Burst Reveals 'Missing Matter' in the Universe

An international team of astronomers used a combination of radio and optical telescopes to identify the precise location of a fast radio burst (FRB) in a distant galaxy, allowing them to conduct a unique census of the Universe’s matter content. Their result, published in today’s edition of Nature, confirms current cosmological models of the distribution […]

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Scientists Develop a Light-Driven Three-Dimensional Plasmonic Nanosystem

February 24, 2016

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Researchers Develop Nanoplasmonic System in the Form of a Pair of Scissors That They Can Open Using UV light

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems have developed a nanoplasmonic system in the form of a pair of scissors that they can open using UV light. Nanomachines could take over a variety of tasks in future. Some day they may be able to perform medical precision work in the human body or […]

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Climate Change Threatens Boreal Coniferous Forests

February 22, 2016

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Climate Change Threatens Dark Taiga

New research from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry reveals that Boreal coniferous forests could see increased occurrences of fire as a result of global warming, with deciduous trees becoming more dominant in the future. Climate change is transforming the Earth, particularly in high-latitude regions. The boreal coniferous forests of the northern hemisphere will witness […]

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Physicists Test the Response Time of Electrons

February 18, 2016

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Researchers Determine the Delay with Which Electrons in Atoms Respond to the Electromagnetic Forces of Light

Researchers from the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics generated for the first time visible flashes of light in attosecond dimensions. They dispatched the light-flashes to electrons in krypton atoms. Through the experiment the researchers have been able to display that the electrons, which are stimulated by the flashes, needed roughly 100 attoseconds to respond to the […]

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