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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Three Hours of Life Per Euro
Public spending appears to have contributed substantially to the fact that life expectancy in eastern Germany has not only increased, but is now almost equivalent to life expectancy in the west. While the possible connection of public spending and life expectancy has been a matter of debate, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) have now for the first time quantified the effect. They found that for each additional euro the eastern Germans received in benefits from pensions and public
Climate Change Alters the Ecological Impacts of Seasons
Only recently, the UN Climate Summit came together in New York to further address the necessary measures to protect the Earth from a dramatic climate change. It has long been recognised that an increase of the average temperature will cause rising oceans and thus flooded landscapes. Particularly, regions close to the coasts are endangered. While it is well known that climate change has increased average temperatures, it is less clear how temperature variability has altered with climate change.
Animals often differ in their behavioural response to risky situations such as exposure to predators. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology now found in a long-term study on different populations of great tits that risk-taking behaviour correlates with both metabolic rate and ambient temperature. High metabolic rates and low temperatures were associated with high risk-taking behaviour, as in these scenarios birds were more likely to approach potential predators.
Interstellar Molecules Are Branching Out
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (Bonn, Germany), Cornell University (USA), and the University of Cologne (Germany) have for the first time detected a carbon-bearing molecule with a "branched" structure in interstellar space. The molecule, iso-propyl cyanide (i-C3H7CN), was discovered in a giant gas cloud called Sagittarius B2, a region of ongoing star formation close to the center of our galaxy that is a hot-spot for molecule-hunting astronomers. The branched structure of the carbon atoms within the iso-propyl cyanide molecule
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