Yearbook 2013

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Thymopoiesis is a very complex and dynamic process. The thymus is important for the differentiation and maturation of progenitor cells into self-tolerant T-lymphocytes. Failures in thymus development or thymus function cause immunodeficiencies; however, many genetic lesions underlying these diseases are still unknown. At the institute, researchers aim at a better understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of thymus development. more

Epigenetic identity and nuclear organization of centromeres

Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics Padeken, Jan; Mendiburo, María José; Olszak, Agata; Schwarz, Hans-Jürgen; Heun, Patrick
Centromeres are specialized genomic regions essential for proper chromosome segregation to the daughter cells. The researchers are interested in understanding how their identity and nuclear organization is regulated. Using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster it was recently shown that the centromere-specific histone CENP-A is a key epigenetic mark for centromere identity, both necessary and sufficient for centromere formation. We further identified Nucleoplasmin (NLP) to play a major role in the positioning of centromeres in the nucleus. more
Insects represent 90% of animal species in our planet. Only a small fraction is known as vectors of infectious diseases. Our work is focused on Anopheles gambiae, the most efficient vector of malaria, which kills about 600,000 people annually. What makes some insect species such a good host for Plasmodium, the parasite that causes the disease? How does the mosquito detect Plasmodium and protect itself against the pathogen? These questions are the focus of our research, which aims to understand the molecular mechanisms of mosquito resistance to Plasmodium and their role in malaria transmission. more
While humans handle 10,000 object categories with ease, today's computer vision systems recognize 1,000 categories with moderate accuracy in constraint settings. Our research addresses short comings of today's approaches by focusing on scalable inference that allows for efficient recognition at test time and scalable learning which allows for the acquisition of a large number of concepts. more
In this report, we focus on the exploitation of perceptual effects to help overcome the physical limitations of display devices in order to enhance apparent image qualities. First, we present apparent display resolution enhancement beyond the physical resolution of display pixels. Then, we discuss various aspects of stereo three-dimensional (S3D) displays that lead to a better control over reproduced depth. Finally, we present an image processing solution, which enables us to see S3D content using any type of stereo glasses and traditional 2D content in glasses-free viewing simultaneously. more
A research projekt at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition identifies and discusses the relevant and more common economic characteristics of developing jurisdictions that impact the adoption and enforcement of their competition laws. It aims at providing a better understanding of developing countries’ economic features and discusses how those economic features can be considered adequately when adopting or enforcing a competition law in a developing jurisdiction. more
The European legislator after years of discussions reached agreement over a Regulation on a European Patent with unitary effect and a flanking Court system. The result, however, is a territorrially and substantially truncated system based upon a strangely hybrid and, upon closer examination, deficient legal title. This hitherto unique model is analysed in the context of a research project which also is intended to develop alternatives. more
There is no evidence that researchers in economics and management are willing to share their research data voluntarily for purposes of promoting scientific discourse or for replication. Based on this finding, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition study the incentives that increase the chance of voluntary data-sharing. Academic tenure and a positive attitude towards Open Science principles are two potential factors that have a verifiable impact on voluntary data-sharing. more
With the claim “Connecting Science and Business” Max Planck Innovation is partner of both science and industry. Our interdisciplinary team provides consulting and support for scientists in evaluating inventions, applying for patents, and founding companies. We offer industry a central point of access to the innovations of the Max Planck Institutes. We thus provide the important function of transferring the results of basic research into economically and socially useful products. more
Living organisms have a very effective method for eliminating cells that are no longer needed: programmed death. Researchers in the group of Ana García Sáez work with a protein called Bax, a key regulator of apoptosis that creates pores with a flexible diameter inside the outer mitochondrial membrane. This step inevitably triggers the final death of the cell. These insights into the role of important key enzymes in setting off apoptosis could provide useful for developing drugs that can directly influence apoptosis. more
Physicians are collecting an ever increasing amount of data describing the health state of their patients. Is new knowledge about diseases hidden in this data, which could lead to better therapies? The field of Machine Learning in Biomedicine is concerned with the development of approaches which help to gain such insights from massive biomedical data.  more
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