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                         OBITUARY        Franz Emanuel Weinert
                         Prof. Franz Emanuel Weinert, Emeritus                         The text of the eulogy by Hubert Markl, President of
                         Scientific Member and former Director                         the Max Planck Society, is reproduced below in memory
                         of the Max Planck Institute for Psy-                          of Franz Emanuel Weinert:
                         chological Research in Munich, died
                         suddenly on 7 March at the age of 70.
                         He was internationally recognised as a
                         leading researcher in the fields of de-
                                                                                      “I      wish I hadn’t had to experience this; not as someone
                                                                                              who enjoyed a warm, close relationship with Franz
                                                                                         Emanuel Weinert for many years; not as President of the
                         velopmental psychology and the psy-                             Max Planck Society in which he was active for 20 years and
                         chology of learning. Weinert was also                           achieved so much.
                         involved in scientific administration                           It seems only yesterday that, on 22 September 1998, on the
                         and was a member of the Senate of the            occasion of his retirement, we thanked him for all he had done and
                         Max Planck Society for 15 years. He also         wished him a long and happy future alongside his dear wife, now that he
                         served as Vice President of the Max Planck       was finally relieved of his many duties. Former President Horst
                         Society between 1990 and 1999.                   Fuhrmann, the trusty leader of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and
                         Weinert was appointed Scientific Member of       Humanities, even warmly invited this member who had been so promi-
                         the Max Planck Institute for Social Sciences     nent in the Academy since 1984 but to continue to play an active role
                         in 1980 and, from 1981, was founding direc-      nunquam otiosus, that is to the best of his ability. Now, so soon after-
                         tor of the Max Planck Institute for Psycho-      wards, a cruel fate has called him to eternal rest.
                         logical Research in Munich, which, with the      Death, although the most natural event in the world – the inescapable
                         help of his colleagues and staff, he developed   future for all living things – is also the most dreadful demand which life
                         into an internationally respected research       has in store for each of us; a severing of unimaginable finality, which
                         establishment. He taught at the Universities     tears apart all that was joined together for so long. It is the one certain-
                         of Heidelberg (from 1981) and Munich (from       ty in every life and yet a truth, which can be endured painfully but only
                         1983) as honorary professor. He was also Vice    accepted through the irresistible force of fate.
                         President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemein-      So closely was he often linked with the factors which determined my life
                         schaft between 1980 and 1986 and President       that, with the death of Franz Emanuel Weinert, I feel as if part of my
                         of the German Psychological Society (1984-       own life over the last few decades has passed away. Above all, however,
                         1986). Following the reunification of Ger-       his death leaves me with the disturbing feeling of a great loss which I do
                         many, in his capacity as Vice President of the   not know how to reconcile. I had the privilege of working with him twice
                         Max Planck Presidential Commission on “Cen-      over the course of many years: first, when we were joint Vice Presidents
                         tres for the Humanities”, Weinert played an      of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and then as he stood by me,
                         influential role in shaping and developing the   once again as Vice President, offering practical and moral support in the
                         humanities and social sciences in the new        early years of my presidency of the Max Planck Society. Those who expe-
                         federal states.                                  rienced working with him could not fail to admire how this man com-
                         Weinert’s scientific work focussed on cogni-     bined tireless hard work, scientific curiosity, an excellent way with words,
                         tive development, especially differences in      clear-headed rationality, an unerring sense of quality, wise powers of
                         individual intelligence, motivation and per-     judgement, uncompromising honesty, modesty and unblemished up-
                         sonality occurring during the course of a per-   rightness with a deep humanity, only given to those who know human
                         son’s life. He also concerned himself with the   nature and perhaps love their fellow man precisely because they have no
                         links between regular events in cognitive de-    misconceptions on that score.
                         velopment, mechanisms of learning and op-        One may perhaps wish to regard these as the many qualities of the top
                         portunities for improving teaching. In 1998,     specialist in scientific psychology and educational theory, the expert in
                         the Arthur Burkhardt Foundation for the          understanding his fellow man and in leadership. But anyone who has

                         Advancement of Science within the Donors’        met enough psychologists and educationalists knows that it was not just
                         Association for the Promoting of Sciences        professionalism of the highest level which Franz Emanuel Weinert em-
                         and Humanities in Germany awarded Weinert        bodied, it was above all the man Weinert who combined supreme ability
                         the “Arthur Burkhardt Prize” in recognition      in the area of his wide-ranging scientific interests with the outstanding
                         of this work.                                    gifts of an honourable character, such as is only found in a few people
                                                                          who set an example and, in so doing, are most able to help and enrich us
                                                                          all.                                                                      ❿

                                                                              3/2001      M   A X   P   L A N C K   R   E S E A R C H   97
NEWS from the Institutes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 NEWS from the Institutes

Throughout the world, Franz Emanuel Weinert was highly regarded as a              forts in foundations and organisations promoting research. There can be                                 The text of the eulogy by Hubert Markl, President of the                         the future of mankind and the necessity for new improved insights and
researcher of the human psyche and its development, and rightly so.               few research committees in this field where his determined and wisely                                   Max Planck Society, is reproduced below in memory of Tyll Necker:                responses to bring about their solution.
Unswayed by the trends of the spirit of the age, he sought to identify,           appraising influence did not make itself felt either directly or indirectly.                                                                                                             I can recall many lively discussions with Tyll Necker – on the board of
mainly through protracted painstaking research work with the help of              For the benefit of society as a whole, for there is no research domain                                                                                                                   the Donors’ Association for the Promoting of the Sciences and Humani-
his staff, how congenital tendencies and developmental conditions
combine in the development of human faculties.
                                                                                  which concerns us all as much as the conditions for developing the abil-
                                                                                  ity of up-and-coming generations.
                                                                                                                                                                                          “W       ith the unexpected and untimely death of Tyll Necker on 29
                                                                                                                                                                                                   March 2001, Germany has lost one of its best people. Free de-
                                                                                                                                                                                          mocratic societies depend on the commitment of their most capable
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ties in Germany, in advisory sessions with the German government, in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           the Senate, which he joined in 1990, and, especially since 1996, as
The insights he brought, empirically proven, were not always popular, let         With the establishment of the humanities and social sciences in the for-                                men and women to the common good of the whole community. Tyll                    member of the Executive Committee of the Max Planck Society and fi-
alone politically opportune. He supported these views unwaveringly                mer GDR, the opening up, in 1990, of a completely new field demanding                                   Necker lived and breathed this commitment in an exemplary fashion                nally as its Vice President since 1999. He would always ask me insistent-
with rational scientific arguments in the face of ideological prejudices          drive and a sense of proportion in equal measure brought a new, in-                                     throughout his entire life. For him, the impressive success of his entre-        ly what science, and what Max Planck Institute researchers in particular,
from both the right and the left, winning respect and high regard from            escapable challenge for Franz Emanuel Weinert, which he accepted, as                                    preneurial dealings was never an end in itself, but, at best, part of a          could contribute in the search for new answers to the pressing issues of
all sides.                                                                        Vice President of the Max Planck Society between 1990 and 1999, sum-                                    much wider human and social task: to live responsibly as a member of a           human life now and in the future. From alternative methods of generat-
Above all, his influence had a lasting effect on the theory and practice          moning up all his strength and without any fuss. Over this period, he                                   nation, of a community of people bound together by culture and histo-            ing electricity to innovative solutions for international legal systems,
of educational work and on the way both disadvantaged and highly                  not only made a lasting contribution to education, science and research                                 ry, which, in turn, jointly with other nations and mindful of its past,          from the responsible use of genetically modified crops to clarifying the
gifted students are supported. It is, of course, painful to reflect that, due     in the united Germany which was rightly honoured with high-ranking                                      must master the present tasks and build the way to a better future.              causes of historical events, from rational development of the social in-
to his untimely death, we will no longer be able to learn such a lot from         awards such as the Bavarian Order of Merit and the German Distin-                                       Tyll Necker always led his active life conscious of this responsibility, nev-    surance system through international comparison to the epidemiology
these research findings, results which he had hoped to delve into further         guished Service Cross. During this time, without ever uttering any com-                                 er sparing his efforts and doing all he could for what he thought was            of infectious diseases – depressing to think that he himself fell victim to
in the coming years through his superb breadth of knowledge and var-              plaints, he probably put such a strain on his health that we have to as-                                important to the extent that one has to wonder whether his early death           one.
ied experience. Yet his legacy of completed scientific work testifies             sume that he must have succumbed to an illness, which neither his                                       might not be the price he paid for his commitment. A man of irre-                His questions were always highly receptive to new answers, it was never
overwhelmingly to his great intellectual maturity and tireless energy.            powers of resistance nor medical skills could overcome.                                                 proachable character, of selfless modesty combined with fearless                 enough for him merely to be informed of the state of knowledge – as
The many awards and honours, the honorary doctorates and professor-               With his death, not only the Max Planck Society, but psychology in Ger-                                 straightforwardness, a citizen for whom no burden was too heavy in the           far as I was at all able to provide him with the details. He always wanted
ships are proof of the respect and esteem he received for this.                   many and the entire German scientific community lose an outstanding                                     service of his country; a man with that self-confident composure which,          to find out, in as much detail as possible, what needed to be done here
Others can describe, far better than I am able to, the scientific achieve-        scholar and a man whose cleverness, wisdom and judgement, but also                                      sure of itself, has no need for boasting; to his friends, a sensitive giver of   and now, preferably from the top experts whom he sought out in con-
ments, which earned Franz Emanuel Weinert such recognition. But, from             whose sense of humour and humanity, touched and influenced all those                                    carefully considered advice and always with that engaging warmth                 versation when visiting our Institutes. A whole programme of such visits
my perspective, I do want to give particular mention to his achieve-              who met him.                                                                                            which made everyone happy who spent time with him in relaxed sur-                was planned for the near future.
ments in promoting and organising science. It is no exaggeration to                                                                                                                       roundings. No nation can ever have too many of this kind of person,              I recall one such recent conversation a few weeks ago on the causes and
state that psychological and educational research in German universities          A farewell such as this is difficult and painful. All that can relieve the                              they are just as valuable as they are rare and all the more valuable the         dangers of the new neurodegenerative diseases triggered by prions. As
and research establishments over the last few decades would not have              pain is the many happy memories of Franz Emanuel Weinert, which fill                                    rarer they are. Losing someone like this leaves all of us, who are left be-      so often, it was important to him that research in the Max Planck Insti-
been as productive and would not have developed in line with the best             us with lasting gratitude. We shall never forget him; he will live on in his                            hind to sorrow and mourn, poorer and fills us with anxious awareness of          tutes contributed all it could to this issue; he pressed for prompt fo-
international standards if not for Dr. Weinert’s tireless and selfless ef-        scientific works as if he were still with us.” G                                                        a loss which cannot easily be reconciled although life soon carries on re-       cussed research and action and asked about promising projects and the
                                                                                                                                                                                          gardless. But all those who got to know Tyll Necker more closely will al-        resources which were needed. We ended up in a little exchange, coming
                                                                                                                                                                                          ways be filled with a sense of this loss which will be heightened by hap-        from opposing perspectives, in which he took up the often-heard com-
                                                                                                                                                                                          py memories rather than diminished. Vir probatus in the classical repub-         monplace about the “abuse of nature”, whereby those giving naturally
                                                                                                                                                                                          lican sense, he was one of those splendid, capable men a country relies          vegetarian cattle animal feed from beef carcases were the guilty party.
                                                                                                                                                                                          on and on whom it can depend without reservation.                                When, in an allusion to Talleyrand’s famous words, I answered that, in
                                                           OBITUARY        Tyll Necker                                                                                                    For the tirelessly active entrepreneur Tyll Necker, for a practical man of
                                                                                                                                                                                          action such as this, it was by no means a matter of course that he
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           my opinion, it was worse than a sin, namely a spectacular error of acting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           on the basis of insufficiently tested knowledge, he smiled and replied,
                                                                                                                                                                                          should also feel attracted to basic research and to science with its con-        with great wisdom borne of practical experience of life, that I might
The Max Planck Society is mourning its Vice President Dr Tyll                     workforce of just under 2000 was responsible                                                            stant search for knowledge. Perhaps not really “attracted” to those              well be quite right but should bear in mind that it was perhaps easier to

                                                                                                                                                                 PHOTO: WOLFGANG FILSER
Necker, who died unexpectedly on 29 March at the age of 71.                       for a turnover of almost DM 600 million.                                                                sometimes odd egocentrics, largely oblivious to the world, caught up in          teach people not to sin than to make stupid technical or scientific mis-
The former managing partner of HAKO-Werke GmbH & Co,                              Tyll Necker began getting involved in politics                                                          the sheer quest for knowledge, for whom the solution to a scientific             takes which they generally did not understand. I believe that was the
Bad Oldesloe and past President of the Federation of German                       back in the early 80s. First as President of the                                                        problem is everything, yet the resulting implications frequently mean            essence of Tyll Necker, who not only wanted to know what the facts
Industries (BDI) had been Senator of the Max Planck Society since                 German Machinery and Plant Manufacturers’                                                               nothing; yet – and this was certainly Tyll Necker – obviously extremely          were but, knowing the facts, what should be done to ensure that a so-
1990, member of its Executive Committee and board of executives                   Association (VDMA), before being elected to                                                             curious as to what the new ideas discovered by these researchers could           cial, economic and, above all, moral problem could be solved.
since 1996, Vice President since 1999 and, most recently, had                     lead the Federation of German Industries in                                                             perhaps contribute to solving those problems which were much more                His receptive attitude towards science, his joy at new knowledge, the
chaired the Senate committee preparing the election of the                        1987, a body representing 80,000 private industrial companies. Up                                       important to him than the puzzle of knowledge, namely the problems of            clear-headed wisdom of his appraising judgement, his razor sharp wit,
President of the Max Planck Society.                                              until 1990 and between 1992 and 1994 he made his mark on German                                         practical existence. Tyll Necker had a clear and deep insight into the sig-      his cheerful laughter – this will all be missed by the entire Max Planck
                                                                                  economic policy. In statements on current socio-political issues, he                                    nificance for the day-to-day life of his fellow human beings which new           Society, and its President will also sorely miss his friendly support and
Tyll Necker was born in Berlin in 1930. He studied philosophy and eco-            spoke in favour of increased flexibility in the labour market, for exam-                                knowledge and improved ability acquired through scientific research              wise counsel now and in future. We shall all miss Tyll Necker, the gener-
nomics at Göttingen and Hamburg and wanted to become a journalist                 ple, and relaxing the law regulating shop closing times. He urged his                                   and technical development have and will continue to have to a greater            ous, charming and warm-hearted friend to the sciences with his sound
and economist like his father. While still a student, he did casual work          business colleagues to adopt an environmentally responsible attitude in                                 extent. Education through and for science, creativity through original           judgment. This feeling of loss is particularly strong at this, his hour of
in the then small refugee-owned business Hans Koch & Sohn. He fell in             their companies. Necker got involved in the GDR, as soon as the Berlin                                  research, imparting a better understanding of our reality through quali-         commemoration. I shall always treasure fond memories of his advice
love with Karin Koch, the daughter of the firm’s founder, married her             wall fell in 1989, becoming a member of the board of several former                                     fied teaching, promoting the resourceful application of knowledge                and support, given unfailingly, and of his warm cheerful laughter. Ger-
and, a short while later, joined the firm. In 1960 the economics gradu-           publicly owned companies before they were privatised. He intervened                                     through competition between the best brains and groups of people –               many has lost one of its best people; as has the scientific community in
ate was made joint manager and shareholder and subsequently manag-                in the debate on the future of East Germany, was quick to approve                                       these were all conditions for the success of a modern competitive soci-          Germany and the Max Planck Society in particular. It owes a great debt
ing partner. Today the Hako Group is a large medium-sized enterprise              a currency union with the GDR, yet later criticised the terms of its                                    ety and, at the same time, the passion of a man who recognised all too           of gratitude towards him and will endeavour to carry out its work in a
mainly producing road sweepers and cleaning machinery. In 1999 the                introduction.                                                                                           clearly and impatiently the magnitude of the unsolved problems facing            way which would have given him pleasure if he were still with us.” G

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NEWS from the Institutes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NEWS from the Institutes

                                                                                                                                                         FIG.: RESEARCH GROUPS AT THE MPI FOR DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
                     DEVELOPMENTAL                  BIOLOGY                                                                                                                                                           will be carried out by Dr. Robert    HARNACK MEDAL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Geisler’s group and also Dr. Yi
                     Fishing for Genes                                                                                                                                                                                Zhou and Dr. Leonard Zon at          Award goes to Prof. Haim Harari
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Harvard Medical School. All this
                     The decoding of the human                     gans such as the heart and                                                                                                                         material will then be used by the    Prof. Haim Harari, President of                by mutual understanding, excellent
                     genome and that of the                        brain can be studied in the                                                                                                                        Sanger Centre as a framework         the Weizmann Institute of Science              research work and also often by
                     mouse, the threadworm C.                      living organism. Moreover,                                                                                                                         for assembling the zebrafish se-     in Israel has been awarded the                 personal friendships.
                     elegans and the fly Drosophila                with 1.7 billion elements, the                                                                                                                     quence data. The Sanger Centre       Harnack Medal. Following a pro-                Professor Haim Harari was born
                     is now to be followed by the                  zebrafish genome is only half                                                                                                                      will make all the sequence data      posal by President Hubert Markl,               in Jerusalem in 1940. He studied
                     decoding of another important                 the size of man’s.                                                                                                                                 freely available by publishing it    the Senate of the Max Planck                   physics at his home town’s Hebrew
                     model organism’s genome:                      In recent years, researchers had                                                                                                                   on the World Wide Web and will       Society reached this decision                  University, ultimately obtaining a
                     the zebrafish Danio rerio. The                begun to deliberately create                                                                                                                       update it continuously as the        unanimously at its meeting in                  doctorate. His interest in German
                     Sanger Centre in Cambridge                    mutations in zebrafish which led                                                                                                                   project progresses. The associated   Munich on 23 March. In doing so,               culture and in working with the
                     and research groups at the                    to abnormal embryonal develop-                                                                                                                     map of the zebrafish genome will     the Max Planck Society recognises              German scientific community stems
stages of the
zebrafish. Zebra-
                     Max Planck Institute for De-                  ment. Thus, in 1993, a compre-                                                                                                                     also be posted on the Internet by    Harari’s successful work over 13               from a period spent as a guest scien-
fish develop very    velopmental Biology in Tübin-                 hensive mutagenesis project was                                                                                                                    Tübingen’s Max Planck Institute      years as the senior representative             tist at the Max Planck Institute for
rapidly. It takes    gen, the Netherlands Institute                carried out in Prof. Christiane                                                                                                                    for Developmental Biology. The       of Israel’s leading research institu-          Physics (Werner Heisenberg Insti-
only 48 hours for    for Developmental Biology and                 Nüsslein-Volhard’s laboratory at                                         Chromatogram                                                              sequencing data is being analysed    tion. The award was presented at               tute) in Munich in the 70s. At this
a fertilised egg     Harvard Medical School have                   the Max Planck Institute for        Sanger Centre will use, has been     of DNA sequence                                                           jointly by Dr. Stephan Schuster’s    the Max Planck Society’s General               time he already held a chair in High
to hatch into a      joined forces for this project.               Developmental Biology which         provided by the zebrafish experts    gel. The various                                                          group at the Max Planck Institute    Meeting in Berlin in June.                     Energy Physics at the Weizmann
small fish (photo,   The Sanger Centre is under-                   produced over 1000 mutant           in Tübingen.                         bases have differ-                                                        and Dr. Lederer’s group at the                                                      Institute. He became

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    PHOTO: WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
fourth row from      taking most of the sequencing                 zebrafish (Development 123, De-     The Sanger Centre will make use      ent colours. Their                                                        Max Planck Society’s computing       President Markl explained that                 its president in 1988
the top).            using the “shotgun” method.                   cember 1996). These fish display    of a new genome map to transfer      sequence on the                                                           centre in Garching. The fully        Harari had contributed to the suc-             and, over the years,
After five days                                                                                                                             gel corresponds to
                     As a preliminary step, the Max                a wide range of disorders – dur-    the small sequenced pieces, like                                                                               annotated sequence of the zebra-     cessful continuation of the tradition          has built it up into
the larvae are                                                                                                                              their order within
already swimming
                     Planck scientists at Tübingen                 ing early development, in organ     pieces in a jigsaw puzzle as it                                                                                fish genome is expected to be        of co-operation which had existed              an institution at
                                                                                                                                            the genome.
free in the water    have already sketched out a                   development or in simple behav-     were, back into a coherent                                                                                     ready by the end of 2003.            for 30 years between the Max Planck            the forefront of re-
and searching        rough gene map. Discovering                   ioural patterns. Equipped with      genome sequence, i.e. a complet-                                                                               The Sanger Centre’s work is being    Society and the Weizmann Institute             search, highly re-
for their own        the zebrafish genome will con-                the sequence of the zebrafish       ed puzzle. This map of the ze-                                                                                 financed by the Wellcome Trust,      and to adapting this collaborative             garded throughout
food (photo,         tribute greatly to explaining                 genome, scientists will be able     brafish genome is being created                                                                                Britain’s largest biomedical foun-   work to the needs of science, which            the world.
bottom row).         the function of various genes,                to identify and understand the      by researchers from Dr. Robert                                                                                 dation. The production, process-     was becoming increasingly interna-             Harari always com-
                                  including those                  genetic defects underlying these    Geisler’s research group at the                                                                                ing and anchoring of bacterial       tional and competitive. “We also have          bined his professional ambitions
                                  involved in organ                disorders sooner in future.         Max Planck Institute for Develop-                                                                              artificial chromosomes (BACs) in     Harari to thank for a certain normal-          with commitment to educational
                                  development and                  The aim is not just to find the     mental Biology together with                                                                                   the two study groups at the Max      ising effect which has entered rela-           and social policy, especially in the
                                  developing simple                actual site of the mutations and    colleagues from Dr. Ron Plasterk’s                                                                             Planck Institute for Developmen-     tions, as far as this is possible in view      field of teaching and introducing
                                  behavioural pat-                 genes on the chromosomes. The       laboratory at the Netherlands                                                                                  tal Biology is being supported       of the historical situation,” said Pres-       young people to the natural sciences.
                                  terns. The project               scientists also want to gather      Institute for Developmental                                                                                    by research funding from the         ident Markl. He had also extended              As chairman of a committee, which
                                  began in January                 information on the size of the      Biology. To produce this so-called                                                                             German Human Genome Project,         and strengthened co-operation be-              distributes university funding ap-
                                  2001 and is due                  particular gene and its function.   physical map, the zebrafish                                                                                    the National Institutes of Health    tween the two organisations through            proved globally by the Israeli
                                  to be completed                  This may also lead to a better      genome has to be dissected into                                                                                in the USA and the Max Planck        his commitment to setting up joint             parliament, he long exerted an influ-
                                  by the end of                    understanding of human devel-       smaller fragments. These are then                                                                              Society. G                           junior research groups at the Weiz-            ence on developments in the Israeli
                                  2003.                            opment and is therefore signifi-    incorporated into so-called BACs                                                                                                                    mann Institute and at Max Planck               scientific scene. Following Germany’s
                                                                   cant for biomedical research        (bacterial artificial chromosomes)                                                                                                                  Institutes.                                    reunification, Harari also showed con-
                                   For years the                   as a whole. For it is obviously     where they reproduce and can                                                                                        @ For further Information,      The Weizmann Institute was founded             siderable interest in the development
                                   zebrafish has been              our architecture (i.e. the inter-   be processed easier. Later these                                                                                   please contact:                  in 1934 and is Israel’s centre for             of the sciences in the former GDR,
                                   a favourite model               play between our genes), rather     BACs are digested by a restriction                                                                             Max Planck Institute for             non-university basic research in the           which became Germany´s new states.
                                   organism in biolo-              than our genetic code, which        enzyme (i.e. dissected into pieces                                                                             Developmental Biology,               natural sciences. It comprises 18 re-          He visited newly established Max
                                   gists’ laboratories             distinguishes us from other         again), unravelled gel electro-                                                                                                                     search departments in five faculties,          Planck Institutes and universities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DR. ROBERT GEISLER
                                   for revealing the               forms of life.                      phoretically and the restriction                                                                               tel.: +49-7071/601-443
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           sharing a central campus in Rehovot            there. His analyses made an impor-
                     genetic foundations of verte-                 The Sanger Centre, which also       patterns of all the BACs com-                                                                                  fax: +49-7071/601-384                and housed in some 50 separate                 tant contribution to shaping opinion
                     brate embryonal development.                  played a decisive part in se-       pared. The scientists call these                                                                               e-mail: robert.geisler@              buildings. The Max Planck Society              within the Max Planck Society.
                     Zebrafish are easy to keep and                quencing the human genome,          DNA restriction patterns finger-                                                                                          promotes co-operative research                 The Harnack Medal, endowed in
                     breed because of their small size             will sequence the zebrafish         prints. Overlapping BACs produce                                                                               and also                             with the Weizmann Institute                    1924, is the highest award bestowed
                     and the large number of off-                  genome by the “shotgun”             similar patterns and can be com-                                                                               DR. STEPHAN SCHUSTER                 through its subsidiary, the Minerva            by the Max Planck Society.
                     spring they produce. A fertilised             method. This will involve the       bined into longer DNA strands                                                                                  tel.: +49-7071/601-440               Foundation. In addition to a scholar-          It is only rarely conferred and only
                     egg takes just a few days to be-              genome being cut up into            (known as contigs).                                                                                            fax: +49-7071/601-442                ship programme, the Foundation                 for exceptional contributions (con-
                     come a fully developed organ-                 numerous small pieces. The          Parallel to this, Dr. Stephan                                                                                  e-mail: stephan.schuster@            supports individual projects and runs          tinuing the tradition of the Kaiser
                     ism. An additional advantage of               base sequence of these pieces       Schuster’s group at the MPI will                                                                                                                    what are known as Minerva research             Wilhelm Society, of which the the-
                     the zebrafish is that the fish lar-           will then be decoded at high        sequence the ends of the BACs.                                                                                                                      centres in Israel. The Weizmann                ologian, politician and friend to the
                     vae are transparent during the                throughput in the Sanger Cen-       These sequences serve to anchor                                                                                                                     Institute lies at the heart of the             sciences Adolf von Harnack was a
                     early stages of their develop-                tre’s sequencing rooms near         the contigs on the gene- or radi-                                                                                                                   network of Israeli and German                  founding father and first president
                     ment. Consequently, internal or-              Cambridge. The DNA, which the       ation hybrid map. This anchoring                                                                                                                    scientists, which is characterised             for 19 years). G

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NEWS from the Institutes                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NEWS from the Institutes

              NEW INSTITUTE        Max Planck Institute                                                                              SPIN   OFF    Scienion AG in Berlin
                              for Vascular Biology
                                                                                                                                     With around DM 12 million          Scienion’s activities revolve           year at the latest”, believes
                                                                                                                                     start-up capital, Scienion AG      around a new generation of              chairman and managing direc-
              At a meeting in Munich                       mal accommodation over and           ate with the University of           began work in early April          biochips, in the development            tor Eickhoff. Co-operative ini-
              on 23 March, the Senate of                   above that for the Institute it-     Münster in research on               on the Berlin-Adlershof            of which Holger Eickhoff of the         tiatives with two companies
              the Max Planck Society voted                 self. The Max Planck Society is      haematopoiesis/cellular im-          science park to the southeast      Max Planck Institute for Mole-          are already in place: Bochum’s
              to establish a Max Planck                    anticipating building costs of       munology. Prof. Vestweber’s          of the city. After Wita Pro-       cular Genetics, who first came          PROT@GEN and the British
              Institute for Vascular Biology               DM 75 to 80 million. The state       field of work is concerned with      teomics AG (1992) and GPC          up with the idea, played an             Genetix Ltd. PROT@GEN’s
              in Münster, subject to secur-                of North Rhine-Westphalia is         the molecular mechanisms be-         Biotech AG (1997), which           influential part. In future, this       products are also based to
              ing funding. It will be dedi-                allocating DM 30 million in a        hind the migration of leuko-         has since been listed on the       biochip technology will help            some extent on know-how and
              cated to researching the                     special payment supporting the       cytes, the immune system’s de-       stock exchange, Scienion is        genetic researchers trace the           technology from the Max
              biological principles behind                 expensive building costs. The        fensive cells.                       the third venture based on         causes of diseases so that              Planck Institute for Molecular
              the development and func-                    Max Planck Society’s long-term       His research interests are con-      technology from the Max            medications can then be                 Genetics.
              tioning of the vascular sys-                 plans foresee the creation of        centrated on the origins of in-      Planck Institute for Mole-         developed.                              The biochip market is huge and
              tem and its disorders.                       90 to 100 jobs at the Institute.     flammatory reactions (i.e. how       cular Genetics in Berlin-                                                  growing fast. According to pro-
              Professor Dietmar Vestweber,                 However, in all, twice that          leukocytes penetrate the site of     Dahlem to be spun off.             Scienion has applied to patent          jections by the American man-
              currently director of the                    number will be wor-king there        an infection or tissue damaged                                          its expertise and hopes to at-          agement consultants Frost &
              Max Planck Institute for                     since it will recruit PhD students   in other ways) and also the          Scientists Dr. Holger Eickhoff,    tract both academic institu-            Sullivan, the market potential
              Physiological and Clinical                   and employ guest scientists as       principles of immune monitor-        Martin Horn and Dr. Wilfried       tions engaged in basic research         runs to several billion dollars.
              Research (Bad Nauheim), is                   well.                                ing (i.e. how lymphocytes pa-        Nietfeld from Prof. Dr. Hans       and large businesses interested         Scienion wants to position it-
              to be appointed founding                     The decision to choose Münster       trol around the body). The en-       Lehrach’s department, together     in practical applications as            self in the competition largely
              director. When completed,                    is closely linked to existing co-    dothelium, the blood vessels’        with Dr. Sebastian Delbrück        customers. Scienion will offer          based on its highly innovative
              the Institute will be equipped               operation between Prof. Vest-        inner layer of cells, plays an ac-   (a former scientist at the Max     the biochips combined with              technology licensed from the
              with three research depart-                  weber and the University of          tive part in controlling this        Delbrück Centre for Molecular      complete microarray solutions.          Max Planck Society and the ex-
              ments and around 90 to 100                   Münster. The latter has consid-      process and this will be exam-       Medicine with experience           Customers can choose between            pertise of its start-up team.
              staff; a new building will be                erably intensified its biomed-       ined in particular detail.           working in industry) and the       accompanying hardware (ar-              A promising start: in December
              required at an estimated cost                ical research in recent years,       Dietmar Vestweber (45) is pro-       management consultant Heike        rayers, hybridisation chambers),        2000, the technology received
              of DM 75 to 80 million.                      for example, through the cre-        fessor at the University of          Feldkord, have succeeded in        various microarrays and the             the state of Berlin/Branden-
                                                           ation of the Centre for Molec-       Münster and, has been Director       persuading a consortium of         opportunity to take advantage           burg’s innovation award. G
              The only molecular biological                ular Biology of Inflammation         of the Max Planck Institute          three noteworthy venture           of support services. In future
              research facilities of their kind            and the Interdisciplinary Centre     for Physiological and Clinical       capitalists with experience of     Scienion plans to develop
              in the world – that is what the              for Clinical Research as well        Research in Bad Nauheim since        the biotechnology sector to        integrated complementary
              Max Planck Society is hoping                 as through new appointments,         July 1999.                           finance the initiative: 3i plc,    diagnostic products.
              to create in Münster, where a                especially in the field of vascu-    With his research department,        Peppermint Financial Partners      Based on the start-up team’s
              research field concentrating on              lar biology. The planned Max         he has already been working          and the IBB joint-venture com-     expertise and support from
              vascular biology is being estab-             Planck Institute completes this      closely with the University in       pany are acting as investors. In   a top-level advisory board con-
              lished, close to the point of                concentration, unique in Ger-        Münster. After studying bio-         addition, the Deutsche Ausgle-     sisting of Prof. Hans Lehrach,
              contact with applied medicine.               many, on research into the           chemistry, Vestweber prepared        ichsbank’s tbg technology          Prof. Detlev Ganten and Prof.
              As a result, planned research                vascular system. The Institute       his doctoral dissertation at the     joint-venture company is pro-      Jens Reich, the company wants
              projects are centred around                  might be able to share its re-       Max Planck Society’s Friedrich       viding co-financing. Garching      to start going into production
              topics such as the causes of                 sources with a broad range of        Miescher Laboratory in Tübin-        Innovation advised and sup-        soon. “We’ll bring
              inflammatory reactions, ques-                uses. Moreover, the university’s     gen. He then went to Switzer-        ported the start-up team           the first product
              tions of immune monitoring, of               biology department with its          land as a postdoctoral student       during the design and set-up       onto the market
              tumour growth and of coro-                   annual complement of 270             where he qualified as a univer-      phase.                             by the end of this
              nary disease.                                students provides an outstand-       sity lecturer at the University
              A central element of the work                ing foundation for basic bio-        of Basle.

                                                                                                                                                     PHOTO: SCIENION
              will be to initially identify the            logical and medical research.        He subsequently led a Junior                                                                                    Scienion AG has set up
              genes which control the mole-                The plan is to set up three de-      Research Group at the Max                                                                                       in business on the Berlin-
              cular processes involved in cre-             partments within the institute.      Planck Institute for Immuno-                                                                                    Adlershof science park.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                The company is already the
              ating the vascular system (an-               The department run by Prof.          biology in Freiburg, before ac-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                third to be hived off from
              giogenesis), the heart (cardio-              Vestweber will be devoted to         cepting a professorship at the                                                                                  the Max Planck Institute
              genesis) and the blood cells                 cytobiology cell biology of          University of Münster in 1994.                                                                                  for Molecular Genetics
              (haematopoiesis). In addition,               leukocytes and of the en-                                                                                                                            in Berlin-Dahlem.
              the functions of the individual              dothelium ( the blood vessels’       The new Max Planck Institute
              genes will then be examined in               inner layer of cells). The second    for Vascular Biology brings the
              more detail. Transgenic mice                 department will work in the          number of Max Planck institu-
              will be used for this, requiring             field of vascular medicine. A        tions established throughout
              the provision of extensive ani-              third department will co-oper-       Germany to 79. G

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NEWS from the Institutes                                                                                                                                                               stellar nucleosynthesis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       NEWS from the Institutes
                                                                                                                                                                star                      and formation of
                                                                                                                                                                                            dust particles

                                                                  COSMOCHEMISTRY                                                                               proto-
                                                                                                                                                    star        solar
                                                                  Looking Back                                                                                 nebula                                             Research in the Nanoworld
                                                                  at the Start of it All                                                                                                                          A nanometre is a millionth of      ceed in setting trends visible at       this out: 100 nanometre chips
                                                                                                                                                                              formation                           a millimetre – a unit of mea-      an international level. What is         are already being developed.
                                                                                                                                                                           of solar system
                                                                  Since early February,the valu-              tigations concentrated on                                                                           surement too small to con-         more, it will offer up to 45            The advancing miniaturisation
                                                                  able nanosims ion microprobe                presolar grains, which are older                                                                    ceive. Nanotechnology ven-         highly qualified scientific staff       of electronic components is
                                                                  has adorned its own specially               than the solar system itself                                                                        tures into the world of atoms      an innovative field of work             forcing research to adopt new
                                                                  equipped laboratory in the                  and have formed from material                                                                       and molecules. This is where       with good career prospects.             strategies for microstructuring
                                                                                                                                                                                               chemical and
                                                                  cosmochemistry department                   ejected from stars (stardust).                                                     physical         the properties of the micro-       Mainz already has a high den-           materials, since conventional
                                                                  of the Max Planck Institute                 Isotopic analysis of presolar                                                    separation of      scopic, or rather, nanoscopic      sity of scientists working in the       methods offer no scope for re-
                                                                                                                                                                                               dust particles
                                                                  for Chemistry in Mainz. Only                dust particles found in primi-                   mass
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  organisation of matter are         area of nanotechnology and              ducing dimensions further. For,
                                                                                                                                                            lab analysis
                                                                  the second of its kind in the               tive meteorites provides infor-                                                                     determined. Whoever mas-           enjoying good research condi-           as Müllen said of the level of
                                                                  world, the device is a sec-                 mation about the evolution                                                                          ters control of the nanome-        tions. The well-equipped infra-         attainable miniaturisation, “In
                                                                  ondary ion mass spectrometer                of the stars and the formation     quently particularly rich in                Presolar dust:       ter range can then deliber-        structure and large team of             extreme cases, even individual
                                                                                                                                                                                             the route from
                                                                  (SIMS), manufactured by the                 of elements inside the stars       presolar dust particles – and al-                                ately endow matter with spe-       first-class scientists at Mainz’        molecules will serve as elec-
                                                                                                                                                                                             the star into
                                                                  French firm Cameca, who                     through nuclear processes, the     so present interstellar dust is to                               cific properties. The resulting    Max Planck Institute for Poly-          tronic components.”
                                                                                                                                                                                             the laboratory.
                                                                  worked closely with the                     growth of particles in stellar     be investigated. Comparing to-                                   intelligent materials open up      mer Research complement the             Developing research studies is
                                                                  Mainz Institute and the Labo-               atmospheres and the chemical       day’s interstellar dust with that                                enormous market potential          university research groups ex-          not being left solely to the sci-
                                                                  ratory for Space Sciences at                evolution of the galaxy.           from meteorites and comets,                                      in the medium term and,            tremely well, whose resources           entists. An external advisory
                                                                  the University of Washington                Measurements with earlier          produced before the formation                                    consequently, nanotechology        Zöllner regards as capable of           board is shadowing the activi-
                                                                  in St. Louis, to which the sec-             ion microprobes were limited       of the solar system, i.e. 4.6 bil-                               is one of the most promising       competing on an international           ties of the new centre right
                                                                               ond instrument                 to particles larger than 0.5       lion years ago, can provide im-                                  of the scientific disciplines.     level, thanks to the state gov-         from the outset. It consists of
                                                                               recently went, in              micrometres (thousandth of a       portant information about the                                    The new Research Centre for        ernment’s special programmes.           three renowned representatives
                                                                               laying down the                millimetre) in diameter; i.e.      chemical evolution of the                                        Multi-purpose Materials and        University chancellor, Prof.            both from German industry and
                                                                               specifications and             comparatively large particles      galaxy. The nanosims probe                                       Miniaturised Functional Units      Josef Reiter, is proud too.             European research establish-
                                                                               properties of the              which were not representative.     could also play a part in reliably                               at Mainz has been set up           Thanks to the excellent co-op-          ments. The representatives from
                                                                               device as well as              For the observed diameters of      dating rock gathered straight                                    specifically to address this,      eration, the research potential         the commercial world will be
                                                                               the design and                 presolar minerals, such as dia-    from Mars.                                                       with funding now secured up        available in Mainz ranges from          able to contribute an industrial
                                                                               final test mea-                monds or silicon carbide, range    Other important applications are                                 until 2003 through an offer        manufacturing organic materi-           perspective early on when re-
                                                                               surements.                     from several nanometres to         also planned in the fields of                                    of sponsorship from the Fed-       als to the manipulation of pro-         search briefs are being devel-
                                                                               “With the help                 several micrometres. The new       geochemistry and atmospheric                                     eral Ministry for Research.        teins to the production of inor-        oped. This early exchange be-
                                                                               of the nanosims                nanosims probe allows a spatial    chemistry: the device’s high res-                                                                   ganic nanostructures. This is           tween science and commerce
                                                                               ion microprobe,                resolution up to 30 nanometres     olution enables it to solve im-                                  This news was met with jubila-     just as unique as the close in-         should enable considerations
Photo by a scan-
                                                                  we will now, for the first                  with high detection efficiency     portant questions relating to the                                tion by participating scientists   terconnection between synthe-           about translating research re-
ning electron
microscope of a
                                                                  time, be able to investigate                for secondary ions. Up to six      differentiation and evolution of                                 at the University of Mainz and     sis, analysis and theoretical de-       sults into practical applications
presolar silicon                                                  meteorite matter and inter-                 isotopes can be measured at a      the Earth. In addition, signifi-                                 the Max Planck Institute for       scription.                              to be included at the develop-
carbide grain from                                                stellar dust particles less than            time. As Hoppe says: “This not     cant advances in atmospheric                                     Polymer Research. They have        The new research centre will            mental stage. The foreign ad-
the Murchison                                                     100 nanometres (millionth of                only provides a more represen-     research are anticipated through                                 been working closely together      now lay fresh foundations               visers should also ensure the
meteorite. This                                                   a millimetre) across. We hope               tative image of the isotopic       the investigation of chemical re-                                and will also co-operate on the    upon which new “nanostruc-              exchange of the latest research
relict from a dis-                                                it will help us solve many of               composition of many presolar       actions occurring on the surface                                 new project based at the Uni-      tured” materials could be de-           results at an international level.
tant star measures                                                the unanswered questions in                 mineral phases. We can also        of fine aerosol particles. G                                     versity. The federal government    veloped with a view to possible         The university and Max Planck
less than a mi-                                                   cosmochemistry and astro-                   search specifically for small                                                                       has promised knock-on financ-      applications. As Professor Klaus        Institute both recognised the
crometre across
and is more than
                                                                  physics”, said Dr. Peter Hoppe,             presolar dust particles to           @ For further Information,                                     ing totalling DM 18 million.       Müllen of the Max Planck In-            importance of this internation-
                                                                  head of the SIMS research                   maybe find presolar mineral         please contact:                                                 The funds originate from the       stitute for Polymer Research            al networking early on. Both
4.57 billion years                                                                                                                               DR. PETER HOPPE
                                                                  group.                                      phases, such as silicates, which                                                                    proceeds from the sale of          reports, advances in the key            also have a close network of
                                                                                                                                                 Max Planck Institute                        Dr. Peter Hoppe
                                                                                                              could not be detected until                                                    of Mainz’ Max
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  UMTS licenses used to improve      technologies for future mar-            international contacts extend-
                                                                                                                                                 for Chemistry, Mainz
                                                                  In secondary ion mass spec-                 now. We also want to extend                                                    Planck Institute     the university infrastructure      kets, in information and com-           ing far beyond Europe. And
                                                                                                                                                 tel.: +49-6131/305-244
                                                                  troscopy, the solid sample is               isotopic measurement to new        fax: +49-6131/305-483                       for Chemistry with   amongst other things, accord-      munications systems in other            existing industrial co-operative
                                                                  bombarded with a primary ion                elements relevant to astro-               e-mail: hoppe@                       the nanosims ion     ing to the Minister of Science     words, are closely linked to the        initiatives involve all Germany’s
                                                                  beam, caesium or oxygen ions,               physics, such as those of the                       microprobe, a new    for Rhineland-Palatinate, Prof.    development of new materials.           larger industrial companies

                                                                  for example. The resulting sec-             iron group.”                                                                   type of secondary    Jürgen Zöllner. He is confident    The example of highly inte-             contemplating materials
                                                                  ondary ions are analysed by                 The cosmochemistry depart-                                                     ion mass spectro-    the research centre will suc-      grated computer chips bears             research. G
                                                                  mass spectroscopy, providing a              ment is planning a host of oth-                                                meter.
                                                                  three-dimensional image of the              er measurements with the new
                                                                  elemental and isotopic compo-               probe. For example,
                                                                  sition of a sample. The SIMS                matter from comets –
                                                                  method is widely used in cos-               probably the most an-
                                                                  mochemistry, geochemistry and               cient material in our
                                                                  geology. In recent years, inves-            solar system and conse-

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NEWS from the Institutes

                                                                                                                                                         PHOTOS: ANDREAS TREPTE
EXHIBIT   Science Tunnel on Tour in China                                                                                           The Science
                                                                                                                                    Tunnel can be
                                                                                                                                    visited at the
          The Science Tunnel has been                 Tunnel at EXPO 2000. “I believe       over the scientists’ shoulders, as it   China Science
          on display in the China Science             this exhibit would offer the          were, and see the challenges fac-       and Technology
          and Technology Museum in                    Chinese people a good opportu-        ing researchers today: from the         Museum in Peking.
          Peking since 29 April. By 31                nity to encounter science in a        search for the innermost compo-         Zhou Guangzhao,
          August, up to one million visi-             completely different form,” he        nents of matter or the elements         Vice Chairman
                                                                                                                                    of the National
          tors are expected to attend the             said.                                 of life to exploring the causes of
                                                                                                                                    People’s Congress,
          multimedia exhibition, which                The route through the Science         disease or the workings of the
                                                                                                                                    and Gerhard
          ventures into the world of cur-             Tunnel leads from the smallest        brain to problems of Man’s social       Wegner, Vice
          rent research. The Max Planck               elements of matter (measured in       existence and the future of the         President of the
          Society has already presented               femtometres, 10-15 m) through to      biosphere of our Earth and the          Max Planck
          the around 170 metre long                   the largest structures in the uni-    universe. The Max Planck Society        Society, were also
          Science Tunnel at EXPO 2000’s               verse (1025 m). Walking through       is keen to bring home the fasci-        present at the
          Science Theme Park in Hanover.              the Science Tunnel, as many visi-     nation of this scientific quest for     official opening
          The launch of the exhibit                   tors as possible should gain a        knowledge to young people in            on 29 April.
          in Peking coincides with the                spectacular insight into the inter-   particular. As Trepte says: “We’re
          addition of two new pages to                nal and external wonders of the       trying to transport visitors into
          the website.                                world and experience the bound-       those worlds, which we all know
                                                      aries of space and time.              of, yet about which we’re a bit
          The search for knowledge is as              For nowadays, new knowledge is        uneasy. I believe that, for many
          old as mankind itself. Since the            largely gained through research-      people, an exhibition like this is
          start of time, Man has pondered             ing processes which, due to their     the only opportunity, and per-
          over the creation of the world,             spatial dimensions or their speed,    haps also an important reason, to
          the origin of life, the future of           are only perceptible to Man using     come directly into contact with
          the universe. Since then, scien-            costly technical equipment. “To-      these worlds.” The impression cre-
          tists and researchers have system-          day’s discoverers are no longer       ated by the visual material is re-
          atically searched for answers to            like Christopher Columbus sailing     inforced by a “Science Sound”,
          these fundamental questions, for            around looking for new conti-         specially composed to tie in with
          answers to enable a better under-           nents. Today we search for new        each of the themes of the Sci-
          standing of our existence and a             territories using extremely com-      ence Tunnel. For presentation in
          sensible relationship with nature.          plicated equipment such as high-      China, the Tunnel had to be con-
          Unlike in the West, Chinese                 powered microscopes or gigantic       verted into a “portable version”
          thinking has always been domi-              telescopes. These “worlds” lie        and all the text translated into
          nated by synthesis, the relation-           beyond people’s everyday experi-      Chinese characters. The exhibit
          ship to the whole. This aspect has          ences and consequently are often      travelled to China by sea; the
          also been represented in the Sci-           alien to them,” says Dr. Andreas      containers served as mobile
          ence Tunnel where supreme ana-              Trepte, project leader for the        workshops for the construction
          lytical achievements from the lat-          Science Tunnel at the Max Planck      team of seven German and
          est research are portrayed in the           Society.                              twelve Chinese technicians. The
          exhibition in relation to knowl-            The Science Tunnel presents visu-     Berlin agency ArchiMeDes was
          edge of the whole world.                    ally impressive photographic and      responsible for this task. G
          The exhibit is an attempt to                video material, much of it previ-
          bridge the gap between western              ously unpublished, from cutting
          science which focuses on the                edge research in Germany, par-          @ Look for the Science
          smallest details and the Far East-          ticularly from Max Planck Insti-       Tunnel as well as background
          ern integrated tradition of think-          tutes, as well as from universities   information on the Internet at:
          ing. The President of the Chinese           and other research establish-
          Academy of Sciences, Professor              ments. Through over two dozen
          Lu Yongxiang, was deeply im-                video films and hundreds of still
          pressed by his visit to the Science         photographs, visitors can look

          106 M    A X   P   L A N C K   R   E S E A R C H   3 / 2 0 0 1