Scientific highlights 2021

Many publications by Max Planck scientists in 2021 were of great social relevance or met with a great media response. We have selected 12 articles to present you with an overview of some noteworthy research of the year

The image is an artistic representation of the double pulsar system PSR J0737-3039 A/B, in which two active pulsars orbit each other in just 147 minutes
The theory of general relativity passes a range of precise tests set by pair of extreme stars more
Spread of Transeurasian languages was due to agriculture
A new study in the journal Nature traces the common ancestry and primary dispersals of Transeurasian languages back to the first farmers moving across Northeast Asia in the Early Neolithic more
How well masks protect
A detailed study shows the maximum risks of being infected by the coronavirus for different scenarios with and without masks more
Life expectancy decreased in most high-income countries
Biggest declines seen in Russia and the US more
Hair analysis shows: Meditation training reduces long-term stress
A study provides the first objective evidence that mental training reduces physical signs of long periods of stress more
Heavy rain forecast from the Eifel maars
Sediment cores indicate more heavy rain events in warm periods and less climate variability in cold periods more
Highly potent, stable nanobodies stop SARS-CoV-2 
Göttingen researchers have developed mini-antibodies that efficiently block the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and its dangerous new variants. more
The birth of exomoons
A distant planet is surrounded by material from which at least one satellite could form more
Pleistocene sediment DNA from Denisova Cave
Sediment DNA tracks 300,000 years of hominin and animal presence at Denisova Cave more
A beetle’s Achilles heel
The pesticide damages the microorganisms necessary for the formation of the exoskeleton of the saw-toothed grain beetle more
Tracking for quantum post
A detector detects photons transporting qubits without destroying the quantum information more
Genotoxic E. coli “caught in the act”
Max Planck researchers and their collaborators reveal transformation of colon organoids in vitro more

Other Interesting Articles

Go to Editor View