Research magazine "Ruperto Carola" - fascicle 3/94


Ruperto Carola 3/94 Heidelberg University's new research magazine New light on what goes on in the cell nucleus Once again scientists have had to revise their ideas. Chromosomes do not fill up the cell nucleus like a tangle of cables. And it is their shape not their volume that changes when they're active. A report on the latest insights into what really goes on inside the cell nucleus is the title story of issue 3/94 of Ruperto Carola, Heidelberg University's research magazine. Other topics discussed are image processing for oceanographic research, a comparison of political institutions and much more. Heidelberg University is up among the leaders in terms of research sponsoring from outside sources. But the other side of the coin - cutbacks in government funding - is a reason for concern, as Head of the Research Department Christoph Kronabel makes clear in his editorial. There then follows Christoph Cremer's title story. His team at the Institute of Applied Physics is working on the development of imaging processes with which medical research could achieve essential new insights into such things as the development of tumors. Oceanography in Heidelberg, hundreds of miles from the nearest bit of coastline? "Bathtub" research into the exchange of climatically crucial gases such as carbon dioxide on the surface of the oceans? Bernd Jaeähne and his team from the Institute of Environmental Physics and Heidelberg University's Center for Scientific Computation are doing precisely that. With the help of special lighting, fluorescent dyes and thermal image cameras they can simulate "oceanic conditions" in a water trough and analyze wind waves on the surface of the water. Measuring-results in the form of images and quantitative evaluation with the help of mathematically sound methods open up new vistas for scientific research in this area. Destruction for recycling purposes is a universal principle of life. A vital function of living cells is the destruction of abnormal proteins. In addition, protein degradation is required to restrict the function of certain proteins to a short period of time and thus control metabolic processes. Leibniz Prize-winner Stefan Jentsch of the Molecular Biology Center of Heidelberg University describes how he deciphers aspects of the functioning and significance of a major cellular "garbage control system" for proteins. Then something entirely different, comparative law, traditionally a much-discussed aspect of legal studies. Its practical relevance is frequently underestimated, representing as it does an important element in overcoming narrowly national perspectives in discourse on law and justice and liberalizing attitudes in this field, even if in the last resort solutions favored in other countries are not actually adopted. Winfried Brugger's article demonstrates that in Germany constitutional law circles have always paid especial attention to legal thinking in the United States. "Max and Alfred Weber - Brothers in Name Alone" is the title of the next article. The name of Alfred Weber is one that rarely figures in sociological literature today. One of the originally most prominent representatives of a culture-historical approach to cultural sociology has disappeared almost without trace from the national and international discussion in this area. Interest in his work would appear to be reserved solely to the historians, who rightly see in him one of the most remarkable figures of recent German history. His older brother Max presents an entirely different picture. His works are today as essential a part of national and international sociological discussion as they have ever been. In Ruperto Carola 3/94 Wolfgang Schluchter looks into the reasons behind the different reception accorded to the two brothers. Dialects are dying out - thus the lament of compilers of Italian dialect dictionaries back in the 19th century. And it is indeed true that today hardly any Italian speaks only his native dialect without being able to understand standard Italian. All the more surprising was the discovery made by Edgar Radtke and his associates during their field studies with microphone and notepad in the vicinity of Naples. Here, they found, knowledge of local dialect is actually gaining ground, particularly among the younger generation, who see in it a matter of personal prestige. At the Department of Romance Studies the dialects of Campania are now being recorded in a regional linguistic atlas documenting the changes that they have undergone. Radtke's article reports on this undertaking. A "News and Vies" section rounds off this issue. In the "Opinion" column Eberhard Schmidt-Aßmann criticizes the research and technology policy of the European Union. Brief reports on the activities of younger researchers and the regular page given over to the activities of the Stiftung Universität Heidelberg foundation are followed by a list of newly approved projects sponsored by non-governmental funds. Single copies of Ruperto Carola cost DM 10 plus postage, DM 5 for students. Orders for individual issues or for the special Support Subscription costing 60 marks should be addressed to: Pressestelle der Universität, Postfach 105760, D-69047 Heidelberg. Up
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