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eBay score: a new insect species

Sure, you can score vintage cars, one-of-a-kind guitar straps, even the odd linkurl:mass spectrometer;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15309/ on linkurl:eBay.;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15331/ But now it seems that a place in science history can also be purchased on the popular auction website. So learned entomologist linkurl:Richard Harrington,;http://www.rothamsted.bbsrc.ac.uk/Research/Centres/index.php?Centre=BCC vice president of the United Kingdom's Royal Entom

By | August 20, 2008

Sure, you can score vintage cars, one-of-a-kind guitar straps, even the odd linkurl:mass spectrometer;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15309/ on linkurl:eBay.;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15331/ But now it seems that a place in science history can also be purchased on the popular auction website. So learned entomologist linkurl:Richard Harrington,;http://www.rothamsted.bbsrc.ac.uk/Research/Centres/index.php?Centre=BCC vice president of the United Kingdom's Royal Entomological Society, when he recently bought an insect encased in a chunk of pre-historic amber on the site. As the linkurl:BBC;http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7572052.stm reported, the insect turned out to be a previously undescribed linkurl:aphid;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/21057/ species that has been extinct for millions of years. Harrington, who is deputy science director at the centre for bioenergy and climate change at agricultural research organization Rothamsted Research, bought the pill-size bead of Balkan amber from a Lithuanian eBay user for 20 British pounds and sent it to renowned fossil aphid expert Ole Heie in Copenhagen. Heie determined that the insect, a member of the __Mindarus__ genus, was new to science and named the new species __Mindarus harringtoni__ after Harrington. While ecstatic about his find, Harrington toyed with the idea of giving the new species a more playful name. "I wanted the aphid to be named __Mindarus ebayi__," he said in a Rothamsted Research linkurl:statement,;http://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/corporate/PressReleases/PressReleases.php?PRID=48 "but flippant species names are frowned upon these days! I'm delighted to have a work of nature named after me - even if it is an extinct fossil!"
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Comments

Avatar of: Scott Freeman

Scott Freeman

Posts: 4

August 20, 2008

As ebay advertises "Don't just shop. Win!"\n\nTalk about a major win. Who would have thought that this type of gem could be found on ebay? \n\n
Avatar of: Paul Stein

Paul Stein

Posts: 23

August 21, 2008

While flippant species names are frowned upon, it's too bad that the same cannot be stated for the naming of genes where it is a veritable free-for-all; Sonic Hedgehog being one of the first.

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