Yearbook 2006

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Education and mortality in Central and Eastern Europe

Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research Jasilionis, Domantas (MPIDR); Jdanov, Dmitri (MPIDR); Leinsalu, Mall (Stockholm Centre on Health of Societies in Transition, University College, Schweden)
The political and socio-economic transition in Central and Eastern European countries was associated with a notable variation in mortality trends. Russia, Lithuania, and Estonia experienced large fluctuations and increases in mortality. Findings of a research project at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research demonstrate that improvements in population education in these countries counterbalanced the overall mortality increase. more
Understanding how external signals are transduced across cellular membranes is a formidable challenge for molecular biologists. Through the structure of an archaeal HAMP domain, which was determined by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we gained more insight into this process. The HAMP domain connects extracellular sensory to intracellular effector domains in a large number of transmembrane receptor proteins and hence is thought to play a crucial role in signal transduction. The structure reveals an ability to switch reversibly between two conformations with similar energy levels, whose balance is affected by ligand binding. A cogwheel-like rotation of helices, triggered by ligand binding to the sensory domain, appears to underlie the conformational change that mediates transduction of extracellular information into the cell. more
Increasing human mobility is a key cause of the geographic spread of modern epidemics. Bacteria and viruses can be transported across great distances and transmitted to other people. In order to understand and predict the spread of disease, we need to know the statistical rules that govern human travel – in the light of an imminent flu pandemic a knowledge of great importance. more
The differentiation of eukaryotic cells is controled by a complex network of biochemical reactions. Genetically blocked nodes in this network can be reactivated by fusing complementing mutant cells while signaling events proceed. The regulatory structure of the network and the dynamics of the signaling processes can be analysed this way. more
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