During the 20th century, the pharmaceutical industry made crucial strides in advancing drug development. In recent times, however, the sector has seen noticeable cost-related cutbacks in research activity. We urgently need new drugs for the treatment of cancer, dementia and many other diseases. In developing countries, the problem is a matter of life and death. Our author pleads for a radical rethinking of the drug development system, and for the involvement of basic research.
Physics & Anstronomy
Some enthusiastically call it the “discovery of the century” when they speak of the discovery of the Higgs boson at Europe’s CERN laboratory in the summer of 2012. As a group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, Sandra Kortner is closely tied to this research – all the while managing her role as the mother of two small children.
Biology & Medicine
The sculpins of Arne Nolte, head of a research group at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön, near Kiel, are no beauties; yet these unprepossessing fish, first discovered in the Lower Rhine in the 1990s, hold a special fascination
Environment & Climate
Normally, Peter Benner and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg work on complicated numerical methods to optimize the automatic control of technical systems and equipment. Recently, however, their research was applied to resolve a political conflict centering around drug cultivation, herbicide spraying and border violations in South America.
Culture & Society
For visiting tourists, market traders and street vendors embody much of the flair of Asian countries, and their stalls and pitches teeming with colorful consumer goods or fresh fruit and vegetables are photographed countless times. Yet Vietnamese markets aren’t just places for goods to change hands; they also comprise complex webs of social relationships and political structures in which power struggles are played out. These aspects are a key focus of Kirsten Endres and her research group at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle.