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Latest Max Planck Institute Stories

A New Atlas Of The Milky Way
2011-08-31 07:49:27

  Sino-German research group draws a new map at the Urumqi radio telescope and discovers two supernova remnants It may not be much use to hitchhikers through the galaxy, but it is extremely valuable to astronomers: the new radio atlas of the Milky Way. After almost ten years of work, researchers at the Max Planck Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have completed their investigation into the polarized radio emission in the galactic plane. The atlas is based on observations...

2011-08-29 12:09:00

Thanks to its flexible genome the plant can adapt to various environmental conditions People can develop new technologies and animals may migrate to other regions. However, plants are tied to their location. Nevertheless, they have found ways to ensure their survival. This is the case for the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which is found throughout the entire northern hemisphere. But how does this small, inconspicuous plant deal with all these different extremes? In order to discover the...

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2011-08-24 15:03:54

  A team of scientists at Germany´s Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy has discovered a potentially habitable planet about 3.6 times as massive of Earth orbiting the star HD 85512, roughly 36.23 light years away (one light year is equivalent to roughly 5.9 trillion miles). Dan Vergano of USA Today reports that the discovery, led by the institute´s Lisa Kaltenegger, adds to the 572 planets orbiting nearby stars listed by the Extrasolar Planets Catalogue. Astronomers around...

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2011-08-11 08:41:57

Sunken oceanic crust resurfaces from Earth's mantle after only 500 million years The recycling of the Earth's crust in volcanoes happens much faster than scientists have previously assumed. Rock of the oceanic crust, which sinks deep into the earth due to the movement of tectonic plates, reemerges through volcanic eruptions after around 500 million years. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz obtained this result using volcanic rock samples. Previously, geologists...

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2011-07-14 10:39:47

The different populations of the South American Burrowing Parrot originated in Chile The Andes of southern South America form a hostile mountain range with glaciers, salty deserts and meager high elevation steppes. Birds from more moderate climate zones cross this mountain range only rarely. Nevertheless, many species live on both sides of the Andes, as in the case of the Burrowing Parrot Cyanoliseus patagonus. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, together with...

2011-07-12 22:27:23

Max Planck scientists can image the processing of information deeper in the cortex with the help of a new multi photon microscope design Visual and tactile objects in our surroundings are translated into a perception by complex interactions of neurons in the cortex. The principles underlying spatial and temporal organization of neuronal activity during decision-making and object perception are not all understood yet. Jason Kerr from Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tbingen,...

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2011-06-14 07:47:13

Sex difference in the brain varies according to social status The brains of all vertebrates display gender-related differences. In songbirds, for example, the size of the brain areas that control their singing behavior could be linked to the size of their song repertoires. In many songbird species, only the males sing and indeed, they do have larger song control areas in the brain than females. However, even species where both sexes sing identically, display the same sex differences in their...

2011-05-31 16:00:56

Gene mutations on the X chromosome lead to progressive hearing impairment Excessive noise is not the only thing that causes damage to hearing. In many cases, genetic factors are responsible for the loss of hearing at a young age. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin together with colleagues from Nijmegen have discovered a previously unknown genetic cause of progressive hearing impairment: the disease is caused by mutations of the SMPX (small muscle...

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2011-05-30 06:10:00

Technology developed with ESA funding and drawing on long-running research aboard the International Space Station is opening up a new way to keep hospital patients safe from infections. Using plasma "“ superheated, electrically charged gas "“ Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics director Gregor Morfill is developing ways to kill bacteria and viruses that can cause infections in hospitals. "What we have with plasma is the possibility to supplement our own immune...

2011-04-27 23:39:09

Max Planck scientists uncover surprising genetic links They were able to show for the first time that physiologically measurable changes can be observed in the brains of healthy carriers of this risk allele. These changes affect a transporter protein involved in the production of an important neuronal transmitter. Given that traditional drugs interact with similar transporter molecules, the researchers are pinning great hopes on this factor as the target structure of future antidepressant...


Word of the Day
mallemaroking
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.