Max Planck Institute News

Mice Can Sense Oxygen Levels in the Environment Using Specialized Neurons

December 2, 2016

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Mice Can Sense Oxygen Levels in the Environment

New research from the Max Planck Institute shows that mice can sense oxygen levels in the environment using specialized neurons in their noses that are present in the olfactory mucosa. The genome of mice harbors more than 1000 odorant receptor genes, which enable them to smell myriad odors in their surroundings. Researchers at the Max […]

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New Study Shows Individual Lifespans Are Becoming More Similar

November 28, 2016

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The Emergence of Longevous Populations

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research have discovered a novel regularity for vastly different human societies and epochs. On average, as lives get longer, the difference in the age at which people die becomes smaller. By analyzing data from 44 countries, researchers have now proven that life expectancy and the variation of […]

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Astronomers Measure Kepler 11145123 with Unprecedented Precision

November 17, 2016

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Astronomers Measure the Shape of Kepler 11145123

In a newly published study, scientists from the Max Planck Institute and the University of Göttingen measure the shape of Kepler 11145123 with unprecedented precision. Stars are not perfect spheres. While they rotate, they become flat due to the centrifugal force. A team of researchers around Laurent Gizon from the Max Planck Institute for Solar […]

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Particles Exhibit Their Quantum Nature Close to Absolute Zero

November 9, 2016

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Sensing the Quantum Limit in Scanning Tunnelling Spectroscopy

A newly published study from the Max Planck Institute reveals what would happen if an electric current no longer flowed, but trickled instead. What would happen if an electric current no longer flowed, but trickled instead? This was the question investigated by researchers working with Christian Ast at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State […]

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Scientists Generate the Fastest Electric Current Ever Measured Inside a Solid Material

October 25, 2016

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Scientists Generate the Fastest Electric Current to Date Inside a Solid Material

Using ultrafast laser flashes, physicists from the Max Planck Institute have generated the fastest electric current that has ever been measured inside a solid material. In the field of electronics, the principle ‘the smaller, the better’ applies. Some building blocks of computers or mobile phones, however, have become nearly as small today as only a […]

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New Research Provides Hope for Better Wound Healing for Diabetics

October 17, 2016

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New Hope for Better Wound Healing for People with Diabetes

New research from the Max Planck Institute could lead to the development of new wound treatment methods for people with diabetes. Diabetics often have to contend with wounds that heal poorly. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, the CECAD Excellence Cluster and the Institute of Genetics of the University of Cologne […]

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New Research Shows Female Hippocampus Structure Changes in Sync with Hormones

October 10, 2016

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Study Shows Female Brains Change in Sync with Hormones

New research from the Max Planck Institute shows that in women, in parallel to the rhythm of the level of estrogen across their menstrual cycle, the structures of the Hippocampus vary — a brain area that is crucial for memories, mood and emotions. Although it has already been known for some time that the brain […]

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Astronomers Discover Density Waves in Protoplanetary Disk Surrounding Elias 2-27

October 6, 2016

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Astronomers Discover Density Waves in a Protoplanetary Disk

Astronomers have discovered a striking spiral-arm structure in the disc of gas and dust around the young star Elias 2-27. The structure is made up of the matter near the midplane of the disc – the region in which new planets can be born. This means: the spirals are either a result of the presence […]

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Motion-Directed Microrobots Can Be Propelled Light

October 4, 2016

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Motion-Directed Robots on a Micro Scale

Researchers reveal a surprisingly simple way to direct synthetic microswimmers towards light or darkness. Phototactic behavior directs some bacteria towards light and others into darkness: This enables them to utilize solar energy as efficiently as possible for their metabolism, or, otherwise, protects them from excessive light intensity. A team of researchers headed by Clemens Bechinger […]

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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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