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Latest Max Planck Institute Stories

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2010-08-03 08:42:40

Meteorologists have determined exactly how much carbon dioxide humans can emit into the atmosphere while ensuring that the earth does not heat up by more than two degrees The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calculated projected temperature changes for various scenarios in 2007 and researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg have now gone one step further: they have developed a new model that specifies the maximum volumes of carbon dioxide that humans...

2010-07-29 09:11:45

Study of quantum phase changes reveals surprising relationship between magnetism and electricity U.S., German and Austrian physicists studying the perplexing class of materials that includes high-temperature superconductors are reporting this week the unexpected discovery of a simple "scaling" behavior in the electronic excitations measured in a related material. The experiments, which were conducted on magnetic heavy-fermion metals, offer direct evidence of the large-scale electronic...

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2010-07-22 13:15:00

Materials for tomorrow's nanoelectronics In the recent issue of Nature, scientists from Empa and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research report how they have managed for the first time to grow graphene ribbons that are just a few nanometers wide using a simple surface-based chemical method. Graphene ribbons are considered to be «hot candidates» for future electronics applications as their properties can be adjusted through width and edge shape....

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2010-07-21 09:05:00

Antibiotic treatment during the liver stage of malaria generates strong protective immunity If mice are administered an antibiotic for three days and are simultaneously infected with malaria, no parasites appear in the blood and life-threatening disease is averted. In addition, the animals treated in this manner also develop robust, long-term immunity against subsequent infections. This discovery was made by the team headed by Dr. Steffen Borrmann from the Department of Infectious Diseases at...

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2010-07-08 07:30:00

Corrupt, lazy, ignorant and too cowardly to chase criminals - these are among some of the most negative terms to have been applied to the police in South Africa, particularly by their fellow citizens. What truth these perceptions hold and other problems faced by the South African Police Service (SAPS) is the subject of research by political scientist Darshan Vigneswaran from the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen. He worked with fellow...

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2010-07-06 07:34:28

New data on photosynthesis and respiration will improve models, researchers say Two recent international studies are poised to change the way scientists view the crucial relationship between Earth's climate and the carbon cycle. These reports explore the global photosynthesis and respiration rates"”the planet's deep "breaths" of carbon dioxide, in and out"”and researchers say that the new findings will be used to update and improve upon traditional models that couple together...

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2010-07-01 10:55:00

Max Planck researchers have uncovered an ingenious evolutionary trick: a signaling chain is allocated several functions, enabling optimal adaptation to environmental conditions Dramatic scenes are played out under Ralf Sommer's microscope: his research object, the roundworm Pristionchus pacificus, bites another worm, tears open a hole in its side and devours the oozing contents. The squirming victim does not stand a chance in this duel: Caenorhabditis elegans may be a close relative of...

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2010-07-01 07:10:31

Sex pheromone production in European corn borer races explored -- tracking the origin of new species The coming of summer brings promise for humans and insects alike. The farmer planted maize for a bountiful harvest, but the European Corn Borer (ECB) is looking for a good meal right away. The caterpillars of this pest bore deep into the maize stems, where they eat the inner pith causing the weakened stalks to fall over before the ears can ripen. As if one pest were not bad enough, there are...

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2010-06-27 13:20:32

Journeys across several time zones make our internal body clocks go haywire. We feel exhausted and tense, and our sleep pattern is out of synch. As scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry have now succeeded in demonstrating for mice, the clocks associated with individual organs in the body adapt to the new time at different speeds. As a result, the body's physiological processes are no longer coordinated. The adrenal gland plays a key role in this process. When the...

bf850b78d3950ecf73c032c66fe44f451
2010-06-22 14:26:00

EU citizens should be able to determine for themselves under which national law they want to bequeath their estate The holiday home on the Costa del Sol, the bank account in London, the local assets of foreign citizens resident in Germany - which rules apply to the bequeathing of such assets? Not an easy question, because the freedom to stipulate how one's assets are to be disposed of in one's last will and testament is subject to different limitations in each country of the EU. There is not...