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These are the stories that were moving and shaking this week at our European partner site,

Biodiversity Issues
Thousands of experts on biodiversity from 191 countries are spending May 19-30 in Bonn, Germany, at the ninth meeting of the signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Convention is a U.N. treaty that was signed into law at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. It exists to preserve biodiversity and promote smart, sustainable use of the Earth’s resources. Key issues on this meeeting’s agenda are directly linked to the current food price crisis, the loss of forests, climate change, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

The German ScienceBloggers are moved by the USA’s decision to protect polar bears (“Thanks to Al Gore,” writes Beatrice Lugger at Neurons), and by news of dying bees in Germany: over 7,000 hives have collapsed in Baden-Wurttenberg within the last three weeks alone. Stefan Jacobasch at Mahlzeit wonders whether the deaths of the bees are due to exposure to a substance used to protect corn seed from insects:

“Last winter the varroa mite decimated bee colonies; now the colonies are probably attacked by the nerve poison Chlothianidin. The pesticide is used to impregnate maize seed to protect it from the corn rootworm, which is widespread in Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg.”

The Nudes of Vienna
Would Americans take off their clothes and spend a whole day naked in a soccer stadium, following the commands of a photographer? That’s what more than 2,000 Austrians did earlier this month for artist Spencer Tunick, prompting Christiane Hoffmann at Kunst-en-Blog to write:

“The man has a good feeling for locations and for larger productions. Whenever the New York artist Spencer Tunick calls, quite a lot of people come and get naked—most recently, on Sunday, May 12th, in the stadium of the final play of the coming European football championship.”

Doner Kebabs and Your Heart
There doesn’t exist any city center in Germany without at least three kebab shops. Germans even prefer kebabs to hamburgers. And many of us believed that kebabs are healthier than hamburgers. But now a study shows, even kebap might cause heart risks. As Peter Artman reports in Medlog:

“Denise Thomas from the Portsmouth Hospital Trust calculated: Eating more than two doner kebab per week causes higher risk of suffering a heart attack within the next ten years.”

Knitwear II
After the privacy 2.0 pullover last week, we offer another thought-provoking knitwear. It’s campaign by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development for saving energy through better insulation of houses. Christiane at Kunst-en-Blog writes:


“Pillars, each with a red stocking cap … in front of the main train station in Berlin and soon in eight city areas in Germany.”

That’s all for now. Please note that this feature will be on vacation next week. We’ll see you again on June 4. Links in this article are to blog posts in German—but their authors are usually happy to respond to comments in English. Danke schön!

This newsletter is compiled by managing editor Beatrice Lugger.