Yearbook 2009

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The wall of blood vessels consists of smooth muscle cells and of the endothelium, which lines the inner surface of the vessel. Various mediators, which in most cases act via G-protein-coupled receptors, regulate the contractile state as well as the permeability of the blood vessel wall. Defects in these regulatory processes can cause common diseases like hypertension, shock, or atherosclerosis. Recently, at the MPI for Heart and Lung Research new insights have been gained into the mechanisms underlying the regulation of vascular wall cells by various mediators as well as into the role of these processes in vascular diseases. more
How can human variation, “human biological diversity”, be described and researched adequately? During the first half of the twentieth century, this question was for the most part answered by reference to race biology. After 1945, however, when racial thinking was thoroughly discredited, only population and molecular genetics seemed to offer life scientists new approaches to this especially thorny question. In fact, the various attempts to expound the problems of this subject were more complex and diverse than the current historiography acknowledges. more
Researchers of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin asked more than 10,000 individuals in nine European countries about their knowledge of the benefits of early detection screening for cancer. It turns out that Europeans are poorly informed optimists when it comes to early detection screening. more
In the new Center for the History of Emotions historians, psychologists and educational researchers, but also ethnologists, sociologists, and scholars of literature, art, and music explore the emotional orders of the past and provide answers to the following questions: What is the logic of investigating emotions at an Institute for Educational Research? Why is research being conducted into the history of emotions? Do emotions have a history at all? And what new, important insights can this research bring? more
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