Yearbook 2008

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In many European states, fertility and marriage behavior have undergone significant changes over the last decades. In the wake of such processes, new demographic behavioral patterns evolve in some regions earlier or more strongly so than in others. An analysis of the spatial origins of these changes and their development over space and time provides new insights into the underlying factors. more
Abstract Mouse ear cress, Arabidopsis thaliana, is the workhorse of plant genetics, and currently only second to humans when it comes to information about genomic variation within the species. In the past two years, there has been a revolution in sequencing technology, and A. thaliana is an ideal object for exploiting the dramatic improvements in sequencing speed and cost. This report describes the beginning of the 1001 Genomes Project, which has as its goal the complete description of the genomes of 1001 wild strains of A. thaliana. more
So far, the integration of immigrants in political decision-making processes is a little researched topic. A project at the Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity investigates the conditions and development of immigrants’ political careers and shows that the careers of members of parliaments follow different logics in different European states. more
Advances in key economical and societal issues facing the world, like energy generation, climate change, and pollution, are obstructed by the lack of understanding of turbulence. Turbulence occurs whenever fluid viscous forces are small compared to the dominant driving forces of the flow; in practice this includes most macroscopic natural and technological flows. High turbulence levels under controlled conditions are imperative to allow a systematic investigation. For the first time this is becoming possible at the Göttingen Turbulence facility, which is presented here. more
Rehabilitation after stroke requires repetitive exercising of impaired movements to relearn lost motor functions. Functional electrical stimulation (FES) represents one possibility to generate movements in the presence of paresis. Using this method, paretic muscles are activated. This provides efficient stimuli for the central nervous system to enhance motoric facilitation. However, precise movements can only be realized by electrical stimulation if the latter is embedded into a feedback control loop, where the stimulation intensity is permanently adapted depending on the continuously measured state of the movement. more
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