Yearbook 2016

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Chromatin modifications provide information above the DNA sequence. The modifications correlate with transcriptional activity, constitute a memory of past decisions, and are thought to provide a state that enables future decisions. The direct measurement of a at the end conflicting combination of chromatin modifications revealed that this combination is not a reflection of molecular potential, as has been thought, but is required to dampen the mutation rate within important genes. Hence, chromatin modifications are key players keeping the DNA sequence in shape and thereby influence evolution. more
Quantitative estimates for extreme weather situations are of essential importance. For this purpose, simulation models are required that are able to resolve clouds as well as fine-scale eddies in ocean flow. These models have to provide a resolution of one kilometer and need to be able to predict several months per calendar day. ESiWACE combines weather and climate sciences and targets the optimization of simulation workflows on supercomputers. A main goal is the investigation of technical feasibility and limitations of cloud-resolving models. more
In July 2016 the second expansion stage of Mistral, the third "High-performance computing system for Earth system research" (HLRE-3), started its operation. The system by Atos/Bull delivers a peak performance of 3.6 quadrillion numerical operations per second to the German climate research community. In November Mistral occupied position no. 34 worldwide on the TOP500 list and is currently the third most powerful German HPC system. Mistral’s parallel file system has a capacity of 54 petabytes and occupies position no. 2 on the vi4io.org list, which compares the largest file systems worldwide. more
Since 2014 the GWDG has been operating a platform for collaboration and publishing for the Administrative Headquarters of the Max Planck Society using Microsoft SharePoint. In 2016 it was updated to the version “SharePoint 2016”, whereby great care was taken to ensure both smooth scalability as well as constant availability of the platform. more
General relativity theory and the standard model of particle physics describe physical phenomena correctly over a vast range of distances and are nevertheless incomplete. In order to understand what is happening inside a black hole or at the Big Bang, a new unified theory is sought which contains the standard model and the theory of gravitation as limiting cases, but whose mathematical contradictions are overcome. Maybe reflections on symmetry can help here. more
On 14 September 2015, the Advanced LIGO instruments detected gravitational waves for the first time ever. The signal came from the merger of two black holes, each with the mass of about 30 Suns, in a distance of 1.3 billion light-years to Earth. Albert Einstein had predicted the existence of these ripples in spacetime in 1916. The first hours of this discovery of the century took place at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hannover in Bruce Allen's “Observational Relativity and Cosmology” division. The authors were also the first persons to see the signal. more
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