Yearbook 2004

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Evolutionary demography is an emerging field at the cutting edge between demography, evolutionary ecology, life-history biology and mathematics. This interdisciplinary approach sheds light on the fundamental question of why we age by understanding the general mechanisms that shape the evolution of age-trajectories of mortality, fertility, growth, resource acquisitions and transfers. more
All multicellular organisms in the animal kingdom share a surprisingly high number of molecular building blocks and many of the same regulatory pathways. Yet, we still do not know how the various organisms use and modify these pathways to generate the nearly endless diversity of biological form. Evolutionary developmental biology tackles this problem by comparing the development of one organism to another, related organism. We have established the nematode Pristionchus pacificus as a satellite organism in “evo-devo”. After the generation of a molecular toolkit, we now address multiple questions ranging from developmental biology, neurobiology and genomics all the way to ecology. more

A first glimpse at the molecular processes underlying learning

Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology Macchi, Paolo; Götze, Bernhard; Tübing, Fabian; Mallardo, Massimo; Köhrmann, Martin; Kiebler, Michael
Learning and memory are fundamental properties of higher organisms. While learning is the ability to acquire knowledge, memory refers to the ability to store acquired information and recall it in a novel context. In the last 50 years, it became clear that different forms of memories can be attributed to distinct regions within the brain. A region called hippocampus plays a crucial role in this process: it contains cells which are responsible for explicit forms of memories. Explicit memory represents conscious knowledge about the world, objects and people. Implicit memory, in contrast, represents unconscious procedures. Primarily we are interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory. more
A step in the development from a society of estates to a society of qualification finally realized in the French Revolution may be observed at the highest judges of the Parlement de Paris in the second half of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century. Not content of being assigned to the Third Estate, they demanded a new structure of both society and state. Their living conditions and especially their libraries give insights into their intellectual backgrounds. more
A novel concept is presented for fluidic microprocessors, which allows to run a huge number of (bio-) chemical reactions in complex sequence on a microchip. It is based upon the interaction of the channel geometry with the foam-like inner topology of dry emulsions more
The liquid phase precipitation of solid particles in emulsion droplets allows the precise control of the particle properties. In particular, narrowly distributed nanoparticles can be synthesized whose size distribution and morphology can be controlled by adjusting the process parameters. more
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