Yearbook 2015

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We discuss the problem of counting paths going along the edges of a graph as a toy model for Feynman’s path integral in quantum mechanics. more

How to choose a suitable detail level describing a complex system.

Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences Pfante, Oliver; Bertschinger, Nils; Olbrich, Eckehard; Ay, Nihat; Jost, Jürgen
Analyzing complex systems, the question occurs what one needs to know at the detail level in order to understand the dynamics at the system level. Ideally, one could use a higher level of description at which the system dynamics unfolds autonomously. That means once the initial state is known, one no longer needs to check the details at the lower level in order to predict the system. Formal methods have been developed to analyze the issues involved. In particular, the question of the flow of information between levels has been linked to the question of memory effects at the respective levels. more
The MPCDF supports optimization of complex applications from material sciences, life sciences, astrophysics, plasma physics, and other disciplines for massively parallel high-performance computers and offers data management services and infrastructure for all phases of the data life cycle. Moreover, the MPCDF provides data visualization services for the exploration and quantitative analysis of simulation results. The MPCDF plays a leading role in projects within the MPG and at national and European level. more
Finding our way in our daily environment is essential for survival, but how do we do it? The answer to this question is relevant to understanding dementia. Mice are a useful experimental model here. A mouse receives a lot of information about its environment and must decide in every situation what information is most helpful and what is misleading. Nerve cells of the central region of the brain, the hippocampus, use NMDA receptors not to store information about the environment, but instead to recognize, judge and decide which items of information are most useful. more
Pain is a major symptom of many diseases and the worldwide number one reason for people to seek medical assistance. While acute pain subserves protective functions, chronic pain conditions present a big challenge to patients and clinicians alike. In light of these difficulties, the identification of proteins specifically involved in chronic pain states would open new avenues for designing selective and efficient therapeutical interventions. more
This study demonstrates the complex regulatory mechanisms for the maintenance of physiological glucose transport and identifies vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as critical regulator of glucose transport across the blood-brain barrier. These experiments reveal that transient, high-fat diet-elicited reduction of brain glucose uptake initiates a compensatory increase of VEGF-production and assign obesity-associated macrophage activation a homeostatic role to restore cerebral glucose metabolism, preserve cognitive function and limit neurodegeneration in obesity. more

ICON: A new model for the investigation of the role of small clouds in the global climate system

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology Giorgetta, Marco(1); Stevens, Bjorn(1); Dipankar, Anurag(1), Adamidis, Panos(2) (1): Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie (2): Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum
The newly developed ICON atmosphere model features two important improvements compared to older models. Firstly the choice of the non-hydrostatic equations allows to simulate small scale circulations as they occur in convective clouds and their environment. Secondly the numerical methods have been chosen such that even massively parallel supercomputers can be exploited. Both features together provide new perspectives for the research on the dynamics of convective clouds and their interaction with large-scale circulations and the global climate. more
Many bacterial species colonize surfaces and form dense three-dimensional structures, known as biofilms, which are resistant to antibiotics and constitute one of the major forms of bacterial biomass on Earth. The developmental process that gives rise to biofilms is largely unknown. It was recently discovered that between the initial surface attachment and mature tower-shaped biofilm structures, the cellular architecture undergoes several critical transitions. more
The deep sea harbors an astronomical number of microorganisms and an unknown genetic variety. Unraveling the genetic functions of ocean microbiomes is essential for understanding the Earth system and its element cycles. Especially the extreme ecosystems of the deep sea hold clues to the evolution and limits of life, and its adaptability to a dynamic planet. more
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