Katharina Hamann with an international team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, Harvard University and the Michigan State University found that sharing in children that young is a pure collaborative phenomenon: when kids received rewards not cooperatively but as a windfall, or worked individually next to one another, they kept the majority of toys for themselves. One of humans' closest living relatives, chimpanzees, did not show this connection between sharing resources and collaborative efforts.
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The Shadow of a Disease
In future, some diseases might be diagnosed earlier and treated more effectively. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen have developed an optical method that makes individual proteins, such as the proteins characteristic of some cancers, visible. Other methods that achieve this only work if the target biomolecules have first been labelled with fluorescent tags; In general, however, that approach is difficult or even impossible. By contrast, with their method, coined iSCAT, the researchers in Erlangen are
Squeezed Quantum Communication
It could be difficult for the NSA to hack encrypted messages in the future – at least if a technology being investigated by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen and the University Erlangen-Nürnberg will be successful: quantum cryptography. The physicists are now laying the foundation to make this technique, which can already be used for the generation of secret keys, available for a wider range of applications. They are the first scientists to send a pulse
How the Zebrafish Gets Its Stripes
The zebrafish, a small fresh water fish, owes its name to a striking pattern of blue stripes alternating with golden stripes. Three major pigment cell types, black cells, reflective silvery cells, and yellow cells emerge during growth in the skin of the tiny juvenile fish and arrange as a multilayered mosaic to compose the characteristic colour pattern.
Potential Therapy for Incurable Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A is the most common inherited disease affecting the peripheral nervous system. Researchers from the Department of Neurogenetics at the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine and University Medical Centre Göttingen have discovered that the maturity of Schwann cells is impaired in rats with the disease. These cells enwrap the nerve fibres with an insulating layer known as myelin, which facilitates the rapid transfer of electrical impulses. If Schwann cells cannot mature correctly, an insufficient number of nerve fibres is
Researchers Block Plant Hormone
Researchers trying to get new information about the metabolism of plants can switch off individual genes and study the resulting changes. However, Erich Kombrink from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne and Markus Kaiser from the University of Duisburg-Essen adopt a different approach. They identify small molecules that block specific components of the metabolic process like brake pads and prevent the downstream reactions. In their search for these molecules, they use a biological selection process involving intact plants. This