Yearbook 2011

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How does demographic change impact the life cycle? How will public finances, private transfers or savings rates develop in the future? These questions are of vital importance to future societal arrangements and economic prospects and are thus tackled by research carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock. This article shows how the individual economic life cycle is characterized in Germany, how it varies across regions and time, and how it impacts on the sustainability of public finances. more
The world’s oceans are teeming with microscopic animal life, with myriads of tiny critters, collectively called zooplankton, swimming and swirling in the water. These organisms sense and react to their environment, are able to sense where the light is coming from, how cold the water is, or how deep they are. They achieve this with nervous systems of surprising simplicity. The research group is trying to understand, using the marine annelid Platynereis as a model, how these nervous systems are wired up and function. more

The genetic basis of morphological variation

Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane; Alsheimer, Soeren; Dooley, Christopher; Krauss, Jana; Harris, Matthew; Rohner, Nicolas; Frohnhöfer, Hans Georg
Darwins theory on the origin of species by means of natural selection rests on the assumption that in every generation the progeny are not exactly alike, but vary slightly. Those that fit best to the conditions survive and propagate their kind. In order to identify genes that when mutated cause the variation of animal morphology in evolution, it is necessary to understand growth and development of  shape and form. In the department of genetics muscle stem cells, as well as the development of integumentary structures and the pigment pattern of the zebrafish are investigated. more
Ebooks are gaining increasingly more importance among the researchers in the Max Planck Society. The Max Planck Digital Library meets this demand by negotiating central ebook licenses as well as framework agreements with publishers that provide conditions for individual ebook purchases by Max Planck libraries. This strategy was developed in an ebook working group within the Max Planck Society. The licensed ebook titles are accessible via a special Max Planck ebook catalog. more
Why aren’t the forces of globalization creating open cities? In South Africa and India new urban elites are closely connected to a global economy and culture. Meanwhile, the segregation of their immediate neighbors in slums and townships creates unprecedented harm to the human development of marginal communities.  A comparison between two global cities, Johannesburg and Mumbai, will refocus research on segregation. more
During the last years HPC-clusters have become common even beyond the established computing centers. The increasing computing power implies higher technical demands on the infrastructure. In particular the efficient cooling of these systems poses a challenge. more
At low speeds fluid flows are laminar and they turn turbulent as the flowrate is increased. The point at which turbulence first occurs cannot easily be predicted even for flows in very simple geometries. Ever since an investigation by Osborne Reynolds in the 19th century scientists tried to determine this point for the fundamentally most important case: pipe flow. Despite many attempts this problem remained unresolved for over 125 years. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Selforganization and colleagues from the University of Warwick could finally answer this question. more
Model reduction significantly accelerates the computer simulation of dynamical systems. It facilitates or even enables their control and optimization. Thus, model reduction is becoming more and more an indispensable tool in computational sciences and engineering. The mathematical model of the dynamical process is replaced by a compact model. Simulating the compact model is then often sufficient to obtain the quantities of interest of the process. We will give a brief introduction into the model reduction of dynamical systems and illustrate its potential using some engineering applications. more
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