Friday, June 12, 2015

In the News: Collecting for the Future

Fig.1. This N’Dama cattle herd in West Africa may hold the answer to livestock diseases which are sweeping across Africa and threatening food security (Credit: ILRI via Wikimedia, 2008)

Museums, herbaria, and genebanks all work to preserve the past so we can prepare for the future. Read about collections-holding institutions that must be protected in order to understand biodiversity, preempt epidemics, study dinosaurs, and more:

  • Fossils hidden in the Natural History Museum of London for more than a century could answer long-standing and controversial questions about dinosaur physiology: “‘Blood Cells Found In Dino Fossils,” BBC News (09 June 2015)

  • The fields of conservation, systematic biology, and even medicine rely heavily upon herbaria and the botanists that staff them. Unfortunately, herbaria around the U.S. are shutting down and students are losing interest: “Fewer Students Study Botany, More Plant Collections Closing,” San Diego Union-Tribune (25 May 2015)

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