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.