Yearbook 2009

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Systematic protein interaction studies are an important part of functional genomics research. A powerful method to decipher protein-protein interaction networks is the yeast two-hybrid system that allows studying the possible interaction of billions of protein pairs. Resulting interactions are represented in protein networks which provide a framework for a systems understanding of the molecular biology of the cell and contribute to medical practice, facilitating identification of human disease genes and an improved interpretation of patient samples and records. more
Give me five, high five, hello and good bye - all shown to others with one hand. Certainly everyone knows that this hand comprises five digits. But not everyone is born with exactly five digits. In humans, occasionally hereditary skeletal limb malformations do occur. One malformation, the so-called synpolydactyly, implies that patients are born with additional digits, and those are fused above all. This phenotype develops due to a mutation within the Hoxd13 gene, leading to a lack of retinoic acid and thereby causing uncontrolled cartilage production at wrong sites in the extremity. more

A year of change and modernisation

German Climate Computation Center Biercamp, Joachim; Böttinger, Michael; Meyer, Jana
This was a year of change: Early in 2009, the new IBM supercomputer and the new data archive system were installed. The new management of DKRZ took up its work in May, and in autumn DKRZ moved into a new building. A further special highlight was the DKRZ inauguration with high-ranking guests in December. The new supercomputer allows for more complex simulations such as the computations for the forthcoming IPCC report AR5 or the STORM experiment. The scientific work of DKRZ's new director, Prof. Thomas Ludwig, focuses on the energy efficiency of high-performance computers. more
Today, numerous ongoing developments in research institutes and universities are influencing the IT. Innovation in information technology is progressing rapidly as well. Scientific computing centres therefore have to analyze carefully where the main challenges in the mid-term may be found and what outlook is resulting. The paper surveys these developments and derives future requirements and the areas where particular efforts are essential. The main emphasis is on those developments which are of primary importance in research institutes when compared to industry. more
Nowadays it is well-established that in the centre of the Milky Way a massive black hole (MBH) with a mass of about four million solar masses is lurking. While we start to have a defined picture about the origin and growth of supermassive black holes, MBHs with smaller masses such as the one in our galactic centre remain an understudied enigma. The key to understanding these holes, and how some of them grow by orders of magnitude in mass, is to understand the dynamics of the stars in the galactic neighbourhood. more
Definitive conclusions may be drawn occasionally even from incomplete information. Indeed, employing a remarkable interplay between various areas of modern mathematics, one is able to discuss the entire class of spacetime geometries that may serve as backgrounds for the consistent propagation of matter. Such generalized geometries emerge from theories of quantum gravity, but also provide a far-reaching geometric point of view to the spectacular experimental observation that our universe expands at an accelerated rate. more
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