The Roanoke Star: 3D Imaging Expands Access to Rare Insect Collection

The Roanoke Star: 3D Imaging Expands Access to Rare Insect Collection. “The digital collection will include the digitized physical picture or 3D model of the insect and metadata including measurements, chemical compositions, ancient DNA information, and other biological or geographical information. This gives anyone with an Internet connection an opportunity to learn from the past and build on future policies and discoveries. Several scientifically valuable collections in the museum will be digitized, including specimens of federally endangered species and ecologically critical pollinators.”

Natural History Museum (UK): Natural History Museum allocated £180 million in Budget to create state-of-the art research centre at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus

Natural History Museum (UK): Natural History Museum allocated £180 million in Budget to create state-of-the art research centre at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. “The collection of 80 million specimens, spanning 4.5 billion years from the formation of the solar system to the present day, is globally unique and scientifically invaluable. It plays a key role in the UK’s international reputation as a scientific leader. The development of new world-class accommodation will allow the Museum to move collections currently at risk of deterioration and irreparable damage from being housed in functionally and physically obsolete 20th century buildings to facilities which meet international collection standards.”

EurekAlert: A new use for museum fish specimens

EurekAlert: A new use for museum fish specimens. “The discoloured fish that rest in glass jars in museums across the world are normally used by specialists as references to study the traits that identify certain species. But a new study proposes an additional use for such ‘samples.’ Published in the Journal of Applied Ichthyology, the paper suggests using such specimens to estimate the length-weight relationships of fish that are hard to find alive in their natural environment.”

EurekAlert: DNA extracted in museum samples can reveal genetic secrets

EurekAlert: DNA extracted in museum samples can reveal genetic secrets. “Researchers have used a vortex fluidic device (VFD) to speed up DNA extraction from an American lobster preserved in formaldehyde – with the results providing a roadmap for exploring DNA from millions of valuable and even extinct species in museums worldwide.”

Florida Museum: Digital records of preserved plants and animals change how scientists explore the world

Florida Museum: Digital records of preserved plants and animals change how scientists explore the world. “There’s a whole world behind the scenes at natural history museums that most people never see. Museum collections house millions upon millions of dinosaur bones, pickled sharks, dried leaves, and every other part of the natural world you can think of–more than could ever be put on display. Instead, these specimens are used in research by scientists trying to understand how different kinds of life evolved and how we can protect them. And a new study in Plos One delves into how scientists are using digital records of all these specimens.”

Iowa State University: Crowdsourcing effort aims to unearth new discoveries in “lost” collection at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory

Iowa State University: Crowdsourcing effort aims to unearth new discoveries in “lost” collection at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. “An Iowa State University scientist has launched a crowdsourcing effort to catalog thousands of organisms contained in a collection at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, a facility run by the Iowa Board of Regents near West Okoboji Lake in Milford. The newly cataloged data will be stored in an ISU database that could help scientists make new discoveries regarding biodiversity. Anyone with access to the internet can contribute to the project, said Lori Biederman, an adjunct assistant professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology, and neither a scientific background nor degree is necessary. Just a little time and attention to detail.”

University of Helsinki: Bring­ing nature on­line – all 13 mil­lion samples of it

University of Helsinki: Bring­ing nature on­line – all 13 mil­lion samples of it. “In downtown Helsinki, the remains of millions of animals and plants rest in cabinets in the long hallways of the Finnish Museum of Natural History. They’ve been collected over 300 years, and in the era of climate change and biodiversity loss they are more important than ever. But how will one transfer more than 13 million specimens from the cabinets to the Internet?”