One of our initial aims when establishing the Bio Bank was to enable researchers around the world to use it as a study resource and prevent the need for museums to be bombarded with sample requests. With this in mind, we welcome applications from researchers to access the image bank and samples where necessary. We always prefer the use of non-destructive analytical techniques where possible, especially in the first instance, to ensure that as much useful information as possible can be retrieved. Applicants are asked to complete the Bio Bank request forms giving full details of their research proposal including any relevant publications. These applications are then reviewed by the panel to establish whether the proposed research is valid and whether there are any samples in the Bio Bank which are suitable. Samples can then be loaned for a period of one year.
Today, the first shipment of samples is leaving the Bio Bank after a successful application was made by researchers working on the Sacred Ibis. In total, twelve samples taken from ten damaged ibis mummies are being couriered to Queensland, Australia, for comparison with samples taken from modern ibis. We hope the samples have a safe journey and that they don’t get quarantined for too long by the customs authorities!