Scientific highlights 2019

Many publications by Max Planck scientists in 2019 were of great social relevance or met with a great media response. We have selected 15 articles to present you with an overview of some noteworthy research of the year.


Scientists are observing two cosmic bursts with an incomparably high energy output
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Color patch could throw self-driving vehicles off track

Machine learning methods which calculate movements are susceptible to interference
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Over the last 30 years, the region has lost 120,000 breeding pairs
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Researchers discover remarkably complete 3.8 million-year-old cranium of Australopithecus anamensis at Woranso-Mille in Ethiopia
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Only a few individuals of plants species are prepared for increasing droughts
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Researchers can determine the disease vulnerability of older people using a defined set of substances in the blood
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Twig-mimicking caterpillars change their colour depending on the background and move to colour-matching backgrounds
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While resting, our brain replays experiences we made while making decisions

New method enables deeper understanding of decision-making processes
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Fires weaken tropical rainforests for years

Even ten years after fires, large, old trees die more often and the forests remain more susceptible to fire and storm damage
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Twig-mimicking caterpillars change their colour depending on the background and move to colour-matching backgrounds
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The opoid crisis and its children

Opioid abuse in the USA reduces life expectancy, especially among baby boomers and the next generation
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A hydrogen-rich material becomes superconductive under high pressure and at minus 23 degrees Celsius
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Max Planck researchers involved in direct observation of the massive gravity trap in the Messier 87 galaxy
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Changed dietary habits resulted in the development of new sounds
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Cleaner wrasse seem to recognize themselves in the mirror
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