|Fig.1. Research on migration, disease, and agriculture depend on a sound collections infrastructure|
(Credit left to right: Joi Ito/2008 pic. cropped, Paul Fürst/1656, Marie Hale/2010)
A critically important source of funding for collections in the United States has been reinstated. Though the program is still under evaluation, this money will go towards the preservation of specimens and infrastructure. This week in the news, we read about this program, as well as research projects underway around the world that depend on collections to further understand human disease, migration, and agriculture.
- A National Science Foundation (NSF) program to support biological collections has been reinstated. The program is still under evaluation: “Biological Specimen Troves Get A Reprieve,” Nature (31 May 2016)
- Pottery shards (or lack thereof) provide solid evidence for the catastrophic population loss around the time of the Black Death: “Broken Pottery Reveals The Sheer Devastation Caused By The Black Death,” Washington Post (24 May 2016)
- Crop remains from the African mainland to Madagascar reveal an ancient migration from the east to this island in the Indian Ocean: “Ancient Crop Remains Record Epic Migration To Madagascar,” Science (30 May 2016)
- On June 11th, you can visit a special farm in Rhode Island that protects heritage breeds of livestock from around the United States: “For One Day Only, Visit The Farm And Cryogenics Laboratory Trying To Save Endangered Livestock Breeds,” Smithsonian Magazine (27 May 2016)