Nuclei of female cells. The Xist molecules, which are responsible for the inactivation of the second X chromosome, are marked with a red dye. Copyright: MPI for Molecular Genetics / Verena Mutzel

Genetics

Microscopy picture of a dividing basal radial glial cell, a progenitor cell type that generates neurons during brain development. Modern human TKTL1, but not Neandertal TKTL1, increases basal radial glia and neuron abundance.

Due to the change of a single amino acid, brain evolution has proceeded differently more

Fewer chromosome segregation errors in modern human than Neanderthal neural stem cells.

Brain stem cells of modern humans make fewer mistakes in the distribution of their chromosomes to the daughter cells more

Farbiges Diagramm von Genen in einer Punktwolke

New method facilitates identification of cell-type specific genes in single-cell data more

A stiff polymer called lignin (stained red) is deposited in a precise pattern in the cell walls of exploding seed pods. Researchers identified three laccase enzymes required to form this lignin. No lignin forms in the cell wall (stained blue) when all three genes are knocked out by CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing.

Researchers identify the genes controlling the mechanical structure of exploding seed pods more

For efficient packaging, DNA is placed in loops. The cohesin ring (pink) forms the basis for the loop. The protein complex MCM (yellow) limits the loop formation.

The protein complex MCM has an unexpected influence on the three-dimensional organization of DNA
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Potato genome decoded

The complete sequencing of the genetic material facilitates the breeding of new varieties more

Droplets of transcription factors

Dresden researchers explain how liquid-like protein droplets collectively read DNA regions to switch on genes more

FAIRE-STARR-seq data

Inventory and prediction of enhancer sequences in the mouse genome more

Microscopic view of liver liver cell organoids derived from normal (left) or mutant (right) mice showing intrinsic accumulation of lipids (in green).

Two cancer genes regulate the metabolic state of the liver more

Unmuting the genome

Epigenetic mechanisms for parent-specific genetic activation decoded more

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Microscopy picture of a dividing basal radial glial cell, a progenitor cell type that generates neurons during brain development. Modern human TKTL1, but not Neandertal TKTL1, increases basal radial glia and neuron abundance.

Due to the change of a single amino acid, brain evolution has proceeded differently more

Fewer chromosome segregation errors in modern human than Neanderthal neural stem cells.

Brain stem cells of modern humans make fewer mistakes in the distribution of their chromosomes to the daughter cells more

A stiff polymer called lignin (stained red) is deposited in a precise pattern in the cell walls of exploding seed pods. Researchers identified three laccase enzymes required to form this lignin. No lignin forms in the cell wall (stained blue) when all three genes are knocked out by CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing.

Researchers identify the genes controlling the mechanical structure of exploding seed pods more

Potato genome decoded

The complete sequencing of the genetic material facilitates the breeding of new varieties more

Microscopic view of liver liver cell organoids derived from normal (left) or mutant (right) mice showing intrinsic accumulation of lipids (in green).

Two cancer genes regulate the metabolic state of the liver more

The thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana)

Discovery that plants protect their most essential genes transforms our view of evolution more

Scientific highlights 2021

Many publications by Max Planck scientists in 2021 were of great social relevance or met with a great media response. We have selected 12 articles to present you with an overview of some noteworthy research of the year more

Prehistoric humans rarely mated with their cousins

Scientists screened 1,785 ancient human genomes from the last 45,000 years for parental relatedness more

Sex differentiation in transsexual kelp

A genetically male strain of giant kelp can produce eggs more

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Genes as parasites

Scientists analyse, how jumping genes can be copied in the DNA more

A new genome for regeneration research

First complete genome assembly of planarian flatworm reveals treasure trove on the function and evolution of genes more

Decoding the Axolotl genome

The sequencing of the largest genome to date lays the foundation for novel insights into tissue regeneration more

Possible cause of early colonial-era Mexican epidemic identified

Salmonella enterica, the bacterium responsible for enteric fever, may be the long-debated cause of the 1545-1550 AD “cocoliztli” epidemic in Oaxaca, Mexico that heavily affected the native population. more

Researchers sequence a new Neandertal genome

The genome of a European Neandertal allows more Neandertal DNA to be identified in present-day people more

How easily we tan is influenced by Neandertal DNA

Neandertal DNA influences variation in skin tone and hair colour in people living today more

First large-scale ancient genomes study from sub-Saharan African skeletons lifts veil on prehistoric populations

Genetic analyses uncover lost human populations and surprising relationships, revealing a complex history of population movements in ancient Africa more

Parkinson's disease involves degeneration of the olfactory system

Scientists discover anatomical link for the loss of smell in Parkinson’s disease more

Mobile women were key to cultural exchange in Stone Age and Bronze Age Europe

4,000 years ago, European women travelled far from their home villages to start their families, bringing with them new cultural objects and ideas more

<p>Are stem cells the link between bacteria and cancer?</p>

New mechanism of stomach gland regeneration reveals impact of Helicobacter pylori infection more

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