Scientific highlights 2020

Many publications by Max Planck scientists in 2020 were of great social relevance or met with a great media response. We have selected 12 articles to present you with an overview of some noteworthy research of the year


A segment of DNA that causes their carriers to have an up to three times higher risk of developing severe Covid-19 is inherited from Neandertals
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People do not reach the same age everywhere in Germany. Roland Rau calculated the average life expectancy for men and women in all 402 German counties. He discovered that the numbers varied by more than five years and attributed that difference to poverty
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A composite material with metal layers of varying hardness can be produced through clever temperature variation
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The eROSITA telescope has provided a new, sharp view of hot and energetic processes across the Universe
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Newly sequenced genomes from prehistoric hunter-gatherers in the region of Lake Baikal reveal connections with First Americans and across Eurasia
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A Göttingen team analyzes the progression of the epidemic in Germany
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Researchers develop an artificial chloroplast
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Measuring tiny differences in mass between different quantum states provides new insights into heavy atoms
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Early evolutionary origin of the human language pathway discovered
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The star S2 orbits the supermassive black hole on a rosette-shaped orbit and confirms Einstein’s theory
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The face of a mouse reveals its emotions
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Researchers develop more specific CRISPR-Cas9 gene scissors
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