Yearbook 2007

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Abstract Proteins of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-ß) family regulate a plethora of cellular processes. TGF-ß proteins regulate cellular differentiation as well as proliferation and mutations in the TGF-ß signal transduction pathway have been identified in various tumours. In addition, TGF-ß activity is of central importance for early embryonic development. Scientists at the Max-Planck-Institute of Immunobiology have identified new TGF-ß regulated genes that mediate TGF-ß activities during early embryonic development. more
Somatic recombination and somatic hypermutation generate the diversity of the immunoglobulin (Ig) repertoire. Both mechanisms form Ig that recognize foreign antigens and also Ig that react with self-antigens. The frequency at which autoreactive Ig are made and where and when they are regulated to avoid autoimmunity is unclear. The generation of recombinant monoclonal antibodies from single isolated human B cells helps to answer these questions. more
Motion Capture (MoCap) means to record and analyze human movements. Nearly all commercial products in this field rely on artificial markers, which have to be attached to the person. These markers are usually reconstructed from cameras and used to determine the position and orientation as well as the involved joint angles of the person. In contrast to these reliable marker based tracking systems exist so-called marker-less systems subject to recent research in the fields of Computergraphics, Computer vision and Biomechanics. In this article, we describe current aspects of research which allow for pose tracking of persons without manual intervention, e.g. the use of markers, just by using image data. more
Europe coalesces. Several challenges in the field of computer science have to be tackled to support the public administrations and their IT systems growing together. The Max-Planck-Institute for Computer Science is involved in one project, funded by the European Commission, which aims at developing and ensuring a secure and efficient collaboration of Europe’s public administrations. Main research topics in this field deal with so-called services that can easily and efficiently be used by citizens and by other administrations with a strong emphasis on protection of data and privacy. more
Interfaces are important locations for an enormous variety of physical, chemical and biological processes. In reality most interfaces are part of complex (soft matter) systems, such as cell membranes or emulsions. In the last decades it has become possible to address structural and dynamical questions relating to flat interfaces under ambient conditions, by probing them with nonlinear optical techniques. If one combines light scattering with nonlinear optical processes it becomes even possible to investigate interfaces of dispersed particles in situ. more

Artificial nacre - Bioinspired synthesis and properties

Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart site Burghard, Zaklina; Santomauro, Giulia; Rothenstein, Dirk; Bill, Joachim; Aldinger, Fritz
Nacre-like thin films were fabricated via a bio-inspired route combining chemical bath deposition of the inorganic component (TiO2 and ZnO) and layer-by-layer assembly of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes for the organic component. Nanoindentation testing revealed an increase in hardness imparted by the alternate-nanolayer architecture of the composite film. Further work also concerns the application of living organisms for the synthesis of novel biomaterials. more
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