MaxPlanckResearch - 4/2015


Germany’s Second Turning Point?
For weeks the influx of refugees has continued to surge. Via what has become known as the Western Balkans route, thousands of people from different regions, including the war zones in the Middle East, have set out on foot in hopes of reaching Europe. The mass immigration of refugees will fundamentally change Germany. But the question is: how?

Biology & Medicine

Nano-Sized Lethal Injection
In movies, 3-D effects are spectacular. And also at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund, Stefan Raunser finds that three-dimensional images offer a visual feast. His electron microscopes enable him to determine the position of individual atoms with great precision and to study the spatial structure of proteins. In doing so, he occasionally encounters some bizarre constructions.

Physics & Astronomy

Archaeology of the Milky Way
The universe has billions and billions of galaxies, but only one that we can explore star by star in all its dimensions: our Milky Way. It can be thought of as a “model organism” for the formation and evolution of galaxies and is thus a key research topic in cosmology, and the research focus of the team working with Hans-Walter Rix, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg. The researchers recently found indications that quite a number of earlier ideas about our galaxy have to be revised.

Material & Technology

A Scientist with a Sweet Tooth
Basic scientist, entrepreneur, citizen and family man: what Peter Seeberger, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, manages to cram into one lifetime would take others three. One of his goals is to prevent diseases that afflict particularly people in developing countries – and his weapon of choice is sugar.

Environment & Climate

Drilling Deep into Earth’s History
Life on Earth stagnated for billions of years in the stage of primitive single-celled organisms. Only when cells acquired a nucleus did things really take off, leading to diversification and the dazzling variety of life forms we see today. Christian Hallmann and his team at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena are investigating how, when and where that happened.
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