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A forgotten Soviet spaceship finds a permanent home in a German museum, Researchblogging.org opens a European branch, portraits of Nobel Laureates come to ScienceBlogs.de, and a blogger reasons about the causes for soaring global food prices. It’s this week’s top stories from our partner site, ScienceBlogs.de:

Final Home for a Space Shuttle
The Speyer Museum of Technology in the town of Speyer, Germany, has purchased a spectacular exhibit: the Buran, a disused Russian launch vehicle and twin sister of the US space shuttle. The Buran had been decaying behind a warehouse in Bahrain, and was bought, saved and transported to Rotterdam in Holland—from where it has now been making its way down the Rhine to the museum in the Palatinate. As Anwen Roberts writes for ScienceBlogs.de’s editor’s blog:

“Final destination for the Buran: After the longest journey it has ever made, the Russian shuttle has finally hit home on a historic date for space travel… These are some images of the Buran docking and being dismantled in the tiny haven at Speyer, and being escorted to its permanent site… But the crowds of onlookers will have to wait till summer before seeing the Buran again: the exhibition hall for the “Apollo and Beyond” show is still under construction, and Buran itself is desperately in need of repair and refurbishing.”

i-2f7d12c5ce12fc25e95aaaf87f84e0ab-shuttle.jpgThe Buran makes its way through Cologne. Photo: Ludmilla Carone.

Seal of Approval for German Research Blogging
Tobias Maier of WeiterGen has initiated the adoption of a quality seal for German blog posts about peer-reviewed research, in collaboration with researchblogging.org and scienceblogs.de. Maier writes:

“The most authentic resources for scientific blog posts are academic publications. But I feel that bloggers, including myself, rather tend towards picking up press releases as their main sources. Sadly, in my opinion, blog posts on research papers don’t have the vibrancy they deserve, while readers unversed in the subject area find it hard to judge whether a blog post does justice to the original publication or not. Hopefully, all that is going to change now!”

Nobel Calendar
Since beginning his extensive photo project in 2000, photographer Peter Badge has taken pictures of almost all the Nobel laureates alive today. The resulting collection of 310 fascinating portraits of Nobel personalities like the Dalai Lama, Peter Grünberg, James Watson, Doris Lessing or Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard is on display at Badge’s blog Nobel Faces, new at ScienceBlogs.de, in the form of a calendar presenting one of these intriguing images every day.

Why Food is Unaffordable
The current debate on food shortages, hunger and poverty has led Stefan Jacobasch of Mahlzeit to taking a closer look at the causes and effects behind the business news:

“World prices for staple foods are presently soaring to a level that most people in developing countries can no longer afford. The favorite explanations—changed eating habits, poor harvests due to climate change, and high oil prices—are half of the truth at most, however. The ‘International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development’ (IAASTD) has been working on a global strategy for agriculture and against hunger and starvation in the last four years…biotechnology and genetic engineering aren’t exactly rebuffed, but the IAASTD doesn’t seem to think that technology is a solution to the problem of hunger.”

That’s all until next week. Note that links in this article are to blog posts in German—but their authors are usually happy to respond to comments in English. Danke!

Thanks to Anwen Roberts and to ScienceBlogs.de managing editor Beatrice Lugger.

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