Today’s edition of Nature has an alarming story about the London Museum of Natural History’s plans to shelve half it’s specimens–many of which are insects.

“Researchers’ fears for the collections are exacerbated by the fact that the specimens are currently being kept at the museum’s overspill facility in Wandsworth, southwest London. Barlow says this building is prone to high humidity and is below the flood level of the nearby River Thames, but museum officials say conditions are first-class.”

Anyone who’s made a collection can tell you, this is a REALLY bad way to store museum specimens–buggy or other wise.

Bee Hives and beetle pests

The small hive beetle is a constant pest of domesticated honey bees, and now researchers think they know how the beetle finds hives to infest. This isn’t believed to be a major cause of the bee disorder, but it is a nuisance species.

Fly and Worm model research funded by NIH

“In an effort to understand every part of the genome needed for organisms to develop and thrive, the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced the first grants in a four-year, $57 million scientific mission to identify all functional elements in the genomes of the fruit fly and round worm.”

Brown Widows in Louisiana (not an insect, but arthropod news)

Accident prone people exist! (not an insect, but validation for my klutzy nature!)

“It appears that there is a discrete group of people who suffer the most accidents: 1 in 29 people have a 50 per cent higher chance of having an accident than the rest of the population (Accident Analysis and Prevention, DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2006.09.012″

Annoyingly, there was no data about what makes a person likely to be accident prone.  My guess is red hair and shortness, but that’s just me.

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!