MPR 2 /2011


Robust Financial Markets - Something to Bank On
Greece, Ireland and Portugal avoided bankruptcy only due to a bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The stability of the European Monetary Union hangs in the balance.

Physics & Astronomy

Superconductivity Is Pair Work
Electric cables that routinely conduct electricity without loss – physicists have been motivated by this idea ever since superconductivity was discovered 100 years ago.

Biology & Medicine

Operating the Genome Switches
Research into epigenetics is a rapidly growing field. A recent conference at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology in Freiburg shed light on the reasons.

Walking the Line between Research and Practice
The advances made by Werner Seeger and his team in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension mean that many patients
at least live longer, with a better quality of life.

Materials & Technology

The Nanoworld Is Starting to Roll
Imagine vehicles that are just a few nanometers large and that clean surfaces or build molecular structures like tiny vehicles at a construction site. To bring this idea, or that of molecular electronics, out of the realm of imagination and into the real world, physicists are investigating the physics of the nanoworld.

Environment & Climate

Microbes in a Dissolved Environment
Huge quantities of dissolved organic carbon are drifting around in the world’s oceans, a ready-made meal for microorganisms. Yet strange as it may seem, they virtually ignore them. Thorsten Dittmar of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen wants to close this and other knowledge gaps in marine research.

Culture & Society

Debating the Japanese Approach to Dispute Resolution
The Japanese are far less likely to settle their disputes in a court of law than Europeans or Americans. Is this a product of their mentality? Do they know of better ways of resolving conflict? Or are they lacking in legal alternatives? These are some of the questions being explored by Harald Baum and his colleagues in the Japan Unit at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg.
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