1/2015

Viewpoint

The All-in-One Climate Package
Global warming is changing the world – environmentally, economically and politically. Climate service providers seek to help decision makers respond appropriately to this
multifaceted change. Our authors were significantly involved in setting up the Climate Service Center in Hamburg. Here they describe the work these kinds of institutions do and the challenges they face when it comes to communicating their information.

Biology & Medicine

Architect in the Cellular Cosmos
Elena Conti used to entertain the notion of becoming an architect. The fact that she decided to study chemistry in the end detracted nothing from her passion for the subject. As Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, she studies the architecture of molecular machines in the cell – and is fascinated by the sophisticated structures in miniature.

Material & Technology

Vaccines from a Reactor
In the event of an impending global flu pandemic, vaccine production could quickly reach its limits, as flu vaccines are still largely produced in embryonated chicken eggs. Udo Reichl, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, and his colleagues have therefore been working on a fully automated method for production in cell cultures that could yield vaccines in large quantities in a crisis.

Environment & Climate

Life on a Climate Roller Coaster
Climate change is radically altering the Earth’s plant and animal life. This is due not only to the rise in mean temperatures throughout the world, but also to the changes in temperature variability between both day and night, and summer and winter. George Wang, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, analyzes climate data with a view to researching the influence of the altered conditions on flora and fauna.

Culture & Society

The Black Market as a Gray Zone
The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) has been looking at the issue of “illegal markets” since 2012, and it has proven far from easy to draw any clear lines of demarcation. After all, the cycle of manufacture, distribution and consumption isn’t always as uniformly criminal as in the case of drugs or child pornography. Academic staff and doctoral students headed by Director Jens Beckert are researching counterfeiting in Argentina, the mining and trade in diamonds in Sierra Leone, the trade in rhinoceros horn and financial market crime – a look at an innovative project in economic sociology.
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