DNA Sequencing Urban Artifact’s Union Terminal Beer

Author: Emily Imhoff, Collections Manager, Zoology In late 2016, Urban Artifact brewers collected yeast from Union Terminal grounds. A few months later, at a 21+ Curiocity event, they premiered a new, fruity brew, Union Terminal Bock, made from the National Historic Landmark’s yeast! As a part of the event, we were asked in zoology to determine the yeast’s species. This is how we did it. We actually extracted the DNA from the yeast and analyzed it to determine the species. All DNA is made up of a series of nucleotides, of which there are four types: A, T, C and G. We looked at the sequence of the nucleotides of a certain region of the DNA that is known to function like a barcode that identifies different yeast species. Then we compared the sequence of the Union Terminal yeast’s “barcode” to a database of […]

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Preservation Tip: Dealing With Insect Damage

Author: Scott Gampfer, Associate Vice President for Collections and Preservation Insects are attracted to materials containing cellulose. Paper-based collections (documents, books, newspapers) contain cellulose and need to be protected from insect attack. Storing collections in cool dry spaces is preferable because there is a link between higher temperature and relative humidity, and increased insect activity. Years ago, the library received a donation of bound newspapers including this volume from the 1830s. One of the volumes exhibited evidence of insect damage on the outside front cover (see image 1 below). Portions of the decorative covering paper were abraded and the lower right-hand corner bore telltale insect holes. When the volume was opened, this is the sight that greeted the librarians (see image 2). It turns out that the volumes had been stored on shelving against a basement or garage wall and termites had been able […]

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A Museum Without Walls: Technical Aspects

Author: Anne Kling, Manager, Collections Databases In an earlier post, we announced the sharing of over 60,000 of Museum Center’s Invertebrate Paleontology records to the global iDigBio website and explained how this benefits the scientific community. But, how does this actually happen? What steps are involved to place our records on an international research platform? First, our Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology, Dr. Brenda Hunda, and several volunteers and interns completed the cataloging and georeferencing of thousands of IP specimens. Georeferencing is the process of assigning geographic coordinates based on the collection locality. Once we were satisfied with the content and quality of the IP records in our EMu database system that we wanted to submit to iDigBio, we needed to map (or match) our fields to the fields used by iDigBio. Many organizations that deal with biological research, like iDigBio, use the Darwin Core […]

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Cincinnati Museum Center Has Reopened!

After a two-and-a-half year restoration, Cincinnati Museum Center is once again open to the general public. Construction on the building’s first full structural restoration began in earnest in July 2016, when Union Terminal’s iconic Rotunda was sealed off from the public.

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