|Fig.1. Comet Lovejoy visible near Earth’s horizon |
(Credit: NASA/Dan Burbank, 2011)
From microscopic organisms to lunar rocks, these collections offer a rare view of our solar system. In the news this week are visits with curators who collect comet dust, find new species, protect banana crops, and more!
- Hidden away in a “drab, 1960s-era building” sit treasured NASA collections of meteorites, comet dust particles, and even particles from solar wind: “Inside The Vault: A Rare Glimpse Of NASA’s Otherworldly Treasures,” Ars Technica (13 January 2016)
- Part of this collecting trip revealed 74 new species in 500 square miles, an amazing find that proves there are still many areas in nature largely unexplored: “134 New Beetles And Dragonflies, Hiding In Plain Sight,” Scientific American (29 December 2015)
- Bananas could be in danger, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Tropical Agriculture Research Station in Puerto Rico is hard at work, trying curious and unusual varieties to protect our current crops: “Our Favorite Banana May Be Doomed; Can New Varieties Replace It?” NPR (11 January 2016)
- How do you study the extinction of microbial species? Biobanks carefully curate their collections that might soon be in danger due to climate change: “How Climate Change Endangers Microbes - And Why That’s Not A Good Thing,” Scientific American (19 January 2016)