Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Dead Birds Do Tell Tales

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the break-me-off-a-piece-of-great-auk dept.

Education 21

grrlscientist writes "While many natural history museum study skin collections have specimens that are more than 100 years old, most museum tissue collections are very recent — in fact, many were initiated during the 1980s. Due to the perishable nature of tissues, they are expensive to maintain and must be carefully managed and continually replenished. Unfortunately, funding shortages and other considerations have made it more difficult for museums to collect animals as often as they did in the past. Therefore, tissues from both wild and captive animals are limited, particularly those from rare and difficult-to-collect animals, such as lories."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

The point of this story? (3, Insightful)

HisOmniscience (1361001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27515193)

It seems kinda obvious that long term storage of tissue samples is hard.

Re:The point of this story? (2, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27515239)

It was submitted by a "grrlscientist", so they auto-approve it. They can't afford to miss the chance of getting a tissue sample by rejecting stories with no point.

Re:The point of this story? (1)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 5 years ago | (#27515607)

Let's hope that "grrlscientist" isn't the dead bird in question. It's just the prose that's a bit unwell.

Re:The point of this story? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27517819)

Although grrlscientist's interest in the discussion of dead birds was really to figure out which ones tasted better when barbecued.

The sperm of this story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27515591)

It seems kinda obvious that long term storage of tissue samples is hard.

I'm sure all the geeks here know that.

Re:The point of this story? (1)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27516335)

It's an anecdote about a mysterious bird skin that the author was able to track not just to the original breeder but also to the facility the bird was donated to, who turned out to have a tissue sample that the researcher will be able to add to her database.

I suspect the reason she wrote about it is because successfully tracking the provenance of a skin might be an uncommon thing and the researcher would've had to "eye-ball" the skin for classification. Instead, she came out of it with a full history of the bird and an actual tissue sample.

Re:The point of this story? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520133)

You missed the point entirely.

1. Long-term tissue storage is hard.
2. Therefore we rely on short-term storage with frequent replenishment.
3. Replenishment is expensive, and problematic for rare species.
4. This is a low-priority item for funding.
5. We're gonna run out of bird skins to study if we don't do something.
6. Jim Carrey wore chicken skin on his face in "The Cable Guy".
7. If we replicate Jim Carrey, we can increase our supply of bird skins.
8. But if we replicate Jim Carrey, the world will become a dumber place.
9. Dumb people don't go to museums unless forced to when they are in grade school.
10. This decrease in museum traffic will free up funds (that were used to serve the public traffic) for purchase of other bird skins.
11. Then we'll have solved the pressing problem of exotic bird skin scarcity.

Re:The point of this story? (1)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523321)

I believe Roland has found a partner.

Huh, (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27515229)

I thought England had plenty of lorries.

Re:Huh, (0)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519997)

I thought England had plenty of lorries.

They do. However, the article is referring to the Lorax [wikipedia.org] , not the lorry.

Huh? (1)

evolx10 (679412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27515343)

"While many natural history museum study skin collections have specimens that are more than 100 years old, most museum tissue collections are very recent"
what in the hell does this even mean?.. Do museums study their own skin collections?

For fucks sake make more sense i dare you!

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27515421)

You aren't parsing correctly.

natural history museum study skin collections

"Study skin" == skins meant for studying.
"study skin collections" == collections of skins meant for studying.
"natural history museum study skin collections" == collections of skins meant for studying owned by natural history museum.

Re:Huh? (1)

Dayze!Confused (717774) | more than 5 years ago | (#27516065)

Should probably make museum possessive:

...many natural history museum's study skin collections have specimens that are more than 100 years old...

That reads a bit better now. Have fun!

Re:Huh? (3, Informative)

The Mysterious Dr. X (1502541) | more than 5 years ago | (#27516107)

...many natural history museums'...

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27517195)

Think again smart guy. It's musea's. Only an idiot would correct someone with the wrong word...

And...? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27517255)

So what? Why do I care, exactly?

Re:And...? (1)

thedrx (1139811) | more than 5 years ago | (#27517847)

Archival of animal tissue could be useful. As an example, a few years ago, some researchers have attempted to clone the extinct Tasmanian Tiger [wikipedia.org] , but the attempt failed due to the DNA samples being too degraded. Had they been better stored, they wouldn't have degraded so much. The animals that we can see today might be extinct tomorrow, hence the importance of archival.

Re:And...? (2, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519083)

Our museum needs 6 lorax skins for its archives. We have found the last 4 known living specimens, and have dutifully skinned them, but we still need 2 more. Any help will be appreciated.

That may be so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27517425)

But who would want to listen?

Funding (1)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27517881)

Unfortunately, funding shortages and other considerations have made it more difficult for museums to collect animals as often as they did in the past.

YOU CAN'T CUT BACK ON FUNDING, YOU WILL REGRET THIS!

I don't have any point to make here (2, Insightful)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519959)

I just wondered if there's a slashdot achievement for posting in worst story ever (in before Jon Katz new here etc).
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?