Nature's library: The value of biodiversity to biological research

This story is part of our series, A Good Environment for Sustainability Research. Click here to see all stories in this collection. 

The stories written into the DNA of Earth’s many species can teach us how life on Earth evolved and how human beings arose, how to improve human health and well being, and how to preserve the planet’s biodiversity for the future. In this video, six Whitehead Institute researchers share what they have learned from the living world, and why it's more important than ever to conserve it.

Unusual Labmates

Scientists at the Institute study a wide variety of species — not all ones you would expect. Learn more about some of these species in our Unusual Labmates series:

The world's smallest water lily

Identifying a tiny water lily as a research tool opened up new possibilities in flowering plant research — but the species almost went extinct before this could happen.

Biology all-stars

Studying how human eggs survive decades of dormancy has been difficult. Starfish are providing a way to pursue the mystery.

Lighting up the lab

Firefly research is illuminating the evolution of fireflies’ light-producing ability, the biomolecular pathways the fireflies use to luminesce, and could perhaps even inform how the use of firefly-based luminescence in research can be improved.



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