Yearbook 2015

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Molecular chaperones are known for their role in folding of proteins in the cytosol. The research focus of the research group is to study these chaperones operating at chromatin, at sites of gene expression. In 2015, two important aspects of chaperoning at chromatin were discovered. Firstly, the mechanistic basis of buffering of genetic variation in gene promoters was elucidated. Secondly, an unbiased interaction network of Hsp90 at chromatin was uncovered in human cells paving a way for understanding anti-cancer properties of Hsp90 inhibitors. more
Upon entry of an infectious organism, cells of the innate immune response mediate a rapid immune reaction to eliminate harmful pathogens and protect our tissues. The researchers aim to gain novel insight into how different types of immune cells coordinate their behavior at inflamed tissue sites to mount an optimal immune response. By using a special form of microscopy, the researchers could already decipher the molecular mechanisms which allow phagocytes to form prominent cell swarms collectively fighting pathogens in infected tissues. more
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a global health threat and a new vaccine is urgently needed for better control. We have developed a novel TB vaccine with high efficacy and safety profile. The vaccine has proven its safety and immunogenicity in clinical trials in adults and infants in Germany and South Africa. Currently a study with newborns from HIV-infected mothers is ongoing in South Africa, and for 2016 a large study with adults at heightened TB risk is planned in India. more
"Learning from Conflicts" is one of the most important strategies for solving computationally hard problems. By guessing a solution that respects local constraints either an overall solution is obtained or a conflict. A conflict can be efficiently turned into further constraints for the problem. "Learning from Conflicts" has pushed the performance of computer programs on hard problems to a new level. For example, automatic verification of computer hardware has turned from an academic discipline into an industry standard. more
The department “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research” participated in the Collaborative Research Centre/Transregio 15 “Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) focusing on the development of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) systems, notably patents and trademark rights. The research addressed the rapid changes in IPR systems and their implications on market structures. The research contribution lies in the theoretic economic analysis of IPR systems and empirical analysis of extensive data sets. more
During the last years standard essential patents (SEPs) have been subject to intensive litigation worldwide. Apart from their significant economic harm, patent wars, especially in the information and telecommunication sector, have a negative impact on innovation. As key players in the standard setting context, standard setting organizations (SSOs) can contribute considerably to solve SEP-related problems. The Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition explores in the framework of an interdisciplinary project how the legal framework for a self-regulation by SSOs should be designed. more
As the technology transfer organization of the Max Planck Society, Max Planck Innovation has been connecting science and business since 1970. Our aim is the patenting and marketing of the inventions of more than 80 Max Planck Institutes. Thus we perform an important task: the transfer of basic research results into products which contribute to economic and social progress. more
Nanosized material systems characteristically exhibit an excessively high internal interface density. A series of previously unknown phenomena in nanomaterials have been disclosed that are fundamentally caused by the presence of interfaces. Thus anomalously large and small lattice parameters in nanocrystalline metals, quantum stress oscillations in growing nanofilms, and extraordinary atomic mobility at ultralow temperatures have been observed and explained. The attained understanding for these new phenomena can lead to new, sophisticated applications of nanomaterials in advanced technologies. more
Autonomous vehicles and intelligent service robots could soon contribute to making our lives more pleasant and secure. However, for autonomous operation such systems first need to learn the perception process itself. This involves measuring distances and motions, detecting objects and interpreting the threedimensional world as a whole. While humans perceive their environment with seemingly little efforts, computers first need to be trained for these tasks. Our research is concerned with developing mathematical models which allow computers to robustly perceive their environment. more
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