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Latest Max Planck Society Stories

Image 1 - Scientists Create World’s Most Powerful X-ray Laser
2012-01-26 06:20:13

Creating and observing super-hot solid plasma could lead to a greater understanding of fusion processes. In two separate studies, the world´s most powerful X-ray laser has been used to build the first atomic X-ray laser pulse, as well as to superheat and control a clump of 2-million-degree matter. The atomic laser could be used to watch biological molecules at work, while the creation of hot dense matter could be used to understand the processes of nuclear fusion. Scientists...

2011-12-16 14:13:45

The majority can benefit when individuals are uninformed From shoals of fish to human society: social organisms need to make collective decisions. And it is not always the majority that prevails. In some cases, a small, resolute group may succeed in bending the whole community to their will. Using computer models and behavioral studies of fish, a team of scientists, including researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, has discovered that...

2011-10-25 19:56:26

Children as young as four years of age conform their public opinion to the majority Adults and adolescents often adjust their behavior and opinions to peer groups, even when they themselves know better. Researchers from the Max Planck Institutes for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, Netherlands, studied this phenomenon in four-year-olds and found that preschool children are already subject to peer pressure. In the current study, the...

Image 1 - Children More Cooperative Than Chimpanzees
2011-10-14 05:39:16

Human children are more likely than chimpanzees to collaborate when solving problems, according to a new European study. The researchers compared the responses of 3-year-old children in Germany with semi-free-ranging chimpanzees in a sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and found that the children preferred to perform a task collaboratively rather than alone, while the chimpanzees showed no such preference. Human children begin very early to recognize the need for help,...

Researchers Find Freshwater Springs, Numerous Micro-organisms In The Dead Sea
2011-09-27 10:04:59

[ Watch the Video ] Findings are the result of collaboration between researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Max Planck Institute of Marine Microbiology Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers have discovered deep freshwater springs on the Dead Sea floor that feed into this rapidly dwindling body of water. In the first-ever Dead Sea diving expedition, the researchers also found new types of micro-organisms growing around fissures in the sea floor as...

2011-09-08 14:55:21

MPI researchers discover direct connections between the areas of the brain responsible for voice and face recognition Face and voice are the two main features by which we recognise other people. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences have now discovered that there is a direct structural connection consisting of fibre pathways between voice- and face-recognition areas in the human brain. The exchange of information, which is assumed to take...

2011-09-01 12:49:48

Max Planck researchers analyze the structure of an iron storage protein Microbes are omnipresent on earth. They are found as free-living microorganisms as well as in communities with other higher organisms. Thanks to modern biological techniques we are now able to address the complex communities and study the role of individual microorganisms and enzymes in more detail. Microbacterium arborescens is a bacterium, which can be found in the guts of herbivorous caterpillars. The Department...

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...

2011-07-28 18:16:39

Max Planck scientists develop new analytical tools for the fast and accurate reconstruction of neural networks The human brain is the most complex of all organs, containing billions of neurons with their corresponding projections, all woven together in a highly complex, three-dimensional web. To date, mapping this vast network posed a practically insurmountable challenge to scientists. Now, however, a research team from the Heidelberg-based Max Planck Institute for Medical Research has...


Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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