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These top stories rounded out the month of April at our European partner site, This will also be the last installment of the weekly update prepared and translated by assistant Anwen Roberts. She’ll be greatly missed. Look for a slightly different format and feel starting next week.

Dynamic Science Blogs
Benedikt Köhler of Viralmythen has analyzed the growth of German science blogs as a ratio of last month’s and recent Technorati rankings, and visualized his results in a tag cloud. As Beatrice Lugger writes at Neurons:

“His approach is based on an analysis of rankings he presents on his unique evaluation site Metaroll. This is a wonderful panorama of presently active German science blogs. It shows just what we’re observing here—that our ScienceBlogs are very dynamic.”

Her post has sparked a lively discussion about the sense and nonsense of rankings, and of entertainment and popularity values of science blogs.

New Therapy for Alzheimer’s
Peter Artmann at Medlog congratulates the Dresden researchers of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics for their Science article on an Alzheimer’s inhibiting drug:

“The German research team with Hans-Joachim Knölker and Kai Simons has presented the world’s best therapy concept for Alzheimer’s disease… So far though, the results are limited to mice and flies… Probably the best thing about this paper is its foundations—instead of genetic engineering, the key of the drug lies in organic chemistry… Until this is licensed as a prescription drug however, there is still a long way to go.”

Ma(r)x Surprise
Recently-discovered Northern German church documents state that Max Planck was actually christened Marx, prompting science bloggers to wonder whether the new information matters at all, as Planck clearly called himself Max—and if it does matter, whether the name plates of countless German research institutes will have to be changed.

“The Northern Elbe Church Archives in Kiel have now confirmed the discovery according to [German news magazine] SPIEGEL… Marx was in fact common enough as a first name. So are we really soon to have the Marx Planck Institutes..?” -Christian Rheinboth, Frischer Wind

A Film as Large as the Universe
Christian Reinboth at Frischer Wind discovers a remarkable video clip on a meteorologist’s blog:

“Usually Frank Abel reports on various weather phenomena and of his daily routine; his most recent, however, is a bit out of that line—a 5-minute video, bigger than the whole universe… It shows a computer-generated zoom into a Mandelbrot set. The knack is that the last frame of the video shows the 315th zoom level, which means that to display the entire screen selection of the first frame, 2^316 monitors would be needed, but that would relate to a size of 2^176 times the size of the known universe, as the video artist himself states…”


The original blog post, with the video, is here.

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 managing editor Beatrice Lugger.