Web edition: February 28, 2013
When deadly virus outbreaks occur, scientists want to know where the disease is coming from and how to stop it. In their search for answers, some will pay a visit to their local museum. They are not trying to take their minds off the outbreak. Instead, they come to sift through the museum’s historic collections, looking for clues that might help them save lives.
In fact, researchers in a broad range of fields have been looking to museum specimens for solutions to new questions in science. Here we get to know three teams using old samples to solve science-based puzzles.