Light is the elixir of life, inspiration for artists and an indispensable tool in science and technology. Reason enough for UNESCO to proclaim 2015 as the International Year of Light. And a good opportunity to dedicate the focus of our magazine to this topic: discover how Max Planck scientists work with optical tweezers, film the movements of electrons, or analyse the painting by Caravaggio.
Life is short, especially for the killifish, Nothobranchius furzeri: It lives for only a few months and then its time is up. During that short lifespan it passes through every phase of life from larva to venerable old fish.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of cancer in children. It can occur in various forms, differing by specific changes in the genetic material of the leukemia cells, but also by their response to therapies.
Emmanuelle Charpentier has accepted the call as Scientific Member and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology. The world-renowned microbiologist principally investigates how bacterial pathogens interact with their environment including the human host. Those studies led her to the instrumental discovery that the so-called CRISPR-Cas9 system of bacteria could be adapted for use as an extremely precise tool to edit genetic material and study gene function.