• Exploring miniature insect brains using micro-CT scanning techniques

      Smith, DB; Bernhardt, G; Raine, NE; Abel, RL; Sykes, D; Ahmed, F; Pedroso, I; Gill, RJ (2016-04)
    • Giant Sequoia: an extraordinary case study involving Carbopol® gel

      McKibbin, C; Allington-Jones, L; Verveniotou, E (Archetype Publishing LtdLondon, 2017-10-18)
      In 2016 a project was undertaken to stabilise and aestheticise the transverse section of giant sequoia on display at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London, UK. This iconic specimen, which now dominates the top floor of the central hall, was 1300 years old when felled and has been part of the exhibitions for 122 years. Measuring over 4.5 metres in diameter, it posed many challenges during remedial conservation. The largest involved removal of the discoloured waxy substance and opacified shellac-based varnish that had been applied in the early 1980s. Solvent tests revealed that the coating was soluble in Industrial Methylated Spirits (IMS) and that the gel worked most effectively at a 1 hour application time. At longer durations the varnish itself gelled and the waxy component was re-deposited. The waxy substance was effectively removed by wiping with alternate white spirit and IMS swabs.
    • Graham MR. (2017) The remedial conservation and support jacketing of the neotype specimen of the dinosaur Massospondylus carinatus

      Graham, M (PeerJ Inc., 2017-08-09)
      In March 2017 the neotype specimen of the Early Jurassic South African prosauropod dinosaur Massospondylus carinatus was appraised and condition reported at the Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), Johannesburg, in readiness for remedial conservation and re-storage. The work was necessitated by deterioration of the specimen, which was caused by handling over a number of years and an inadequate and failing support mount. Formally numbered BP/1/4934, but more affectionately known to staff as ‘Big Momma’, the specimen was contained within several individual blocks on flimsy support bases and presented various conservation challenges.These included treatment of fractures and cracking across several surfaces of the fossil and the production of clam shell supports to allow for articulated display within the constraints of an existing display cabinet. Part of the brief was to facilitate safer handling and access for researchers. This project was led by the author who also trained the curatorial and preparation staff at WITS in the methods and techniques employed. The visit was funded by the Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST), the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences and The University of the Witwatersrand (WITS).
    • “Hope” is the thing with feathers: how useful are cyclomethicones when cleaning taxidermy?

      Allington-Jones, L (NatSCA, 2020-10-01)
      Silicone solvents have extreme hydrophobicity so they can be used as a temporary barrier to aqueous cleaning solutions. They are characterised as having low odour, moderately low toxicity, low polarity and surface tension. They are 100% volatile so will leave no trace behind. Silicone solvents could potentially be used to flood the skin of taxidermy specimens, to provide a barrier whilst fur or feathers are cleaned, and even permit the use of heat treatments without causing damage to the skin. They will not cause drying or swelling and will not dissolve or mobilise any skin components such as dyes or fats, which would normally be adversely affected by water or other solvents. They are also, in theory, safe to use on skin which has suffered so much deterioration that the shrinkage temperature is close to room temperature. Different classes of silicone solvents have different working times and this article explores 3 of these, and their practical applicability when cleaning taxidermy.
    • Hydroxyferroroméite, a new secondary weathering mineral from Oms, France

      Mills, S; Christy, A; Rumsey, M; Spratt, J; Bittarello, E; Favreau, G; Ciriotti, M; Berbain, C (2017-04-28)
      Hydroxyferroroméite, ideally (Fe2+ 1.5[]0.5)Sb5+ 2O6(OH), is a new secondary mineral from the Correc d'en Llinassos, Oms, Pyrénées-Orientales Department, France. Hydroxyferroroméite occurs as yellow to yellow-brown powdery boxwork replacements up to about 50μm across after tetrahedrite in a siderite–quartz matrix. No distinct crystals have been observed. The empirical formula (based on 7 (O + OH) per formula unit, pfu) is (Fe2+ 1.07Cu2+ 0.50Zn0.03Sr0.03Ca 0.01[]0.36)Σ2 (Sb5+ 1.88Si0.09Al0.02As0.01)Σ2 O6 ((OH)0.86 O0.14). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was used to determine the valence states of Sb, Fe and Cu. Hydroxyferroroméite crystallises in the space group Fd3 m with the pyrochlore structure and hence is a new Fe2+ -dominant member of the roméite group of the pyrochlore supergroup. It has the unit-cell parameters: a = 10.25(3) Å, V = 1077(6) Å3 and Z = 8. A model, based on bond-valence theory, for incorporation of the small Fe2+ cation into a displaced variant of the A site of the pyrochlore structure is proposed.
    • Hypervelocity impact in low earth orbit: finding subtle impactor signatures on the Hubble Space Telescope

      Kearsley, AT; Colaux, JL; Ross, DK; Wozniakiewicz, PL; Gerlach, L; Anz-Meador, P; Griffin, T; Reed, B; Opiela, J; Palitsin, VV; et al. (2017)
    • HYPERVELOCITY IMPACT IN LOW EARTH ORBIT: FINDING SUBTLE IMPACTOR SIGNATURES ON THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE

      Kearsley, AT; Colaux, JL; Wozniakiewicz, PJ; Gerlach, L; Anz-Meador, P; Liou, JC; Griffin, T; Reed, B; Opiela, J; Palitsin, VV; et al. (2018-04)
      HYPERVELOCITY IMPACT IN LOW EARTH ORBIT: FINDING SUBTLE IMPACTOR SIGNATURES ON THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE A T Kearsley 1,2,5, J L Colaux 3, D K Ross 4, P J Wozniakiewicz 2,5, L Gerlach 6, P Anz-Meador 4, J-C Liou 7, T Griffin 8, B Reed 8, J Opiela 4, V V Palitsin 3, G W Grime 3, R P Webb 3, C Jeynes 3, J Spratt 2, M J Cole 5, M C Price 5 and M J Burchell 5. 1 Dunholme, Raven Hall Road, Ravenscar, YO13 0NA, UK (kearsleys@runbox.com); 2 Natural History Museum (NHM), Cromwell Road, London, UK. 3 Ion Beam Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. 4 ESCG-Jacobs, NASA-JSC, Houston, TX, USA. 5 School of Physical Sciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, UK. 6 European Space Agency (ESA, retired), Noordwijk, The Netherlands. 7 NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, USA. 8 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Maryland, USA. ABSTRACT Introduction Return of large surface area components from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) during shuttle orbiter service missions has allowed inspection of large numbers of hyper-velocity impact features from long exposure in low Earth orbit (LEO). Particular attention has been paid to the origin of the impacting particles, whether artificial Orbital Debris (OD) or natural Micrometeoroid (MM). Extensive studies have been made of solar cells (Graham et al., 2001; Kearsley et al 2005, Moussi et al., 2005) and recently, the painted metal surface of the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 WFPC2 radiator shield (Anz-Meador et al., 2013; Colaux et al., 2014; Kearsley et al., 2014a; Ross et al., 2014). Both of these materials from HST have layers of complex chemical composition, into which particle fragments and melt may infiltrate during impact. Experimental light gas gun (LGG) impacts (e.g. Price et al., 2014) have shown that impactor remains may be dispersed and dilute, often as a very thin and patchy coating within an irregular impact-generated pit. In previous studies, the low concentration of particle residue, the rugged topography of impact features, and especially the complex multi-element composition of the impacted surface were considered significant barriers to recognition of extraneous impactor-derived components. Analysis was both difficult and time consuming (e.g. Graham et al., 2001), and a substantial proportion of impactors (25-65%) could not be identified. Recent advances in energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX) now permit routine identification of impactor origins using scanning electron microscope (SEM); particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and micro-X-ray fluorescence (µ-XRF) instruments (Kearsley et al., 2012, 2014b). Here we demonstrate how these techniques have allowed impactor composition to be isolated, and the particle source determined for the great majority of WFPC2 samples studied. Methods To analyse impact melt on the zinc orthotitanate (ZOT) and aluminium alloy (Al-6061) of the WFPC2 radiator shield we used the Oxford Instruments INCA SEM-EDX spectrum pro-cessing software to separate peak and background X-ray counts for specified X-ray emission lines. From tables of likely OD and MM signature elements (e.g. Kearsley et al., 2005), and knowledge of the pristine WFPC paint and alloy compositions, we extracted data for the fol-lowing elements: Mg, Al, Si, S, K, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu and Zn. Two types of graphical plot were developed, to highlight extraneous element signatures in small impacts on the ZOT paint (Fig. 1), and larger craters into the Al-alloy (Fig. 2). The impactor origin was then clas-sified by reference to a suite of decision trees (Kearsley et al., 2012). A Bruker X-Flash 6050 EDX detector was also used to obtain signal from the interior of deeper craters. PIXE maps and spectra were acquired in the Ion Beam Centre, University of Surrey (Colaux et al., 2014). Results Figure 1. WFPC2 impact feature 339: a) SEM backscattered electron (BE) image; b) SEM depth model; c) SEM-EDX maps show high Mg concentration in the impact melt lining the impact feature d) plots of SEM-EDX X-ray counts for Mg and Fe show much higher levels in impact melt (red) than in clean ZOT paint (blue), and a similar level to impact residue from LGG impacts of olivine grains (open black squares). Excess Mg and Fe contents in frothy impact melt show impactor was a micrometeoroid. Figure 2). WFPC2 impact feature 462: a) SEM BE image; b) SEM depth profile; c and d) PIXE EDX maps show Fe and Ni across crater pit and surrounding metal, some iron-rich in-clusions in the Al alloy, but Ni only enriched in pit; e) PIXE EDX spectra show high Fe and Ni on crater floor, similar to micrometeoroid metal composition; f) plot of Mg/Al versus Cr/Fe X-ray counts in SEM-EDX spectra from the crater edge (red) show enrichment of Mg and Fe over alloy composition (black, grey, yellow and green), indicating a mafic silicate mi-crometeoroid component has also been added from the impacted micrometeoroid. Summary and conclusions Together, SEM-EDX and PIXE-EDX maps, spectra and X-ray count plots showed 166 MM residues and 2 OD residues in this survey of 188 impact features on WFPC2, ~ 90% of those examined, considerable enhancement of impactor recognition over an earlier study of HST impacts (~75% identified as MM or OD in origin, Kearsley et al., 2005). Acknowledgements ESA contract 40001105713/12/NL/GE awarded to NHM and the University of Surrey; Bruker for expertise in use of the X-Flash detector and loan of the M4 Tornado µ-XRF. References quoted Anz-Meador P. et al. (2013) Proc. 6th European Conf. Space Debris, ESA SP 723: s1b_anzme.pdf, CD-ROM. Colaux J. L. et al. (2014) LPSC 45 Abstract #1727. Graham, G.A. et al. (2001) Proc. 3rd European Conf. Space Debris, ESA SP 473:197–203. Kearsley A.T. et al., (2005) Adv. Space Res. 35:1254–1262. Kearsley A. T. et al. (2012) Technical Note 1 for ESA contract 40001105713/12/NL/GE. Kearsley A. T. et al. (2014a) LPSC 45 abstract #1722. Kearsley A.T. et al. (2014b) LPSC 45 abstract #1733. Moussi A. et al. (2005) Adv. Space Res. 35:1243–1253. Price M. C. et al. (2014) LPSC 45 abstract #1466. Ross D. K. et al. (2014) LPSC 45 abstract #1514.
    • iCollections

      Paterson, GLJ; Albuquerque, S; Blagoderov, V; Brooks, S; Cafferty, S; Cane, E; Carter, V; Chainey, J; Crowther, R; Douglas, L; et al. (2016-06-03)
      iCollections specimens
    • Identification of fossil worm tubes from Phanerozoic hydrothermal vents and cold seeps

      Georgieva, MN; Little, CTS; Watson, JS; Sephton, MA; Ball, AD; Glover, AG (2017-12-28)
    • Identification of Shell Colour Pigments in Marine Snails Clanculus pharaonius and C. margaritarius (Trochoidea; Gastropoda)

      Williams, ST; Ito, S; Wakamatsu, K; Goral, T; Edwards, NP; Wogelius, RA; Henkel, T; de Oliveira, LFC; Maia, LF; Strekopytov, S; et al. (2016-07-01)
    • IMp: The customizable LEGO® Pinned Insect Manipulator

      Dupont, S; Price, BW; Blagoderov, V (2015-02-04)
    • Impact vaporization and Condensation: Laser Irradiation Experiments with Natural Planetary Materials

      Hamann, C; Hecht, L; Schäffer, S; Heunoske, D; Salge, T; Garbout, A; Osterholz, J; Greshake, A (The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 2018)
    • Inselect: Automating the Digitization of Natural History Collections

      Hudson, L; Blagoderov, V; Heaton, A; Holtzhausen, P; Livermore, L; Price, BW; van der Walt, S; Smith, V; Cellinese, N (2015-11-23)
    • Mastodon and on and on…a moving story

      Allington-Jones, L (NatSCA, 2018-02-01)
      This is the latest chapter in the history of the mastodon (Mammut americanum (Kerr, 1792)) specimen on display at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London (UK), and continues from the story told by Lindsay (1991). The specimen was selected to be one of the new exhibits for the Wonder Bays of the refurbished Hintze Hall, at the heart of the Waterhouse building. Residing, until recently, on open display in a different exhibition space, the mastodon required stabilisation and careful dismantling before transportation and reassembly in its new site.
    • Mechanisms for the generation of HREE mineralization in carbonatites: Evidence from Huanglongpu, China.

      Smith, M; Cangelosi, D; Yardley, B; Wenlei Song, CX; Spratt, J (The Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits, 2019-12-30)
      The Hunaglongpu carbonatites, Qinling Mountains, China, are exceptional as they form both an economic Mo resource, and are enriched in the HREE compared to typical carbonatites, giving a metal profile that may closely match projected future demand. The carbonatites at the level currently exposed appear to be transitional between magmatic and hydrothermal processes. The multistage dykes and veins are cored by quartz which hosts a fluid inclusion assemblage with a high proportion of sulphate daughter or trapped minerals, and later stage, cross-cutting veins are rich in barite-celestine. The REE mineral paragenesis evolves from monazite, through apatite and bastnäsite to Ca-REE fluorcabonates, with an increase in HREE enrichment at every stage. Radio-isotope ratios are typical of enriched mantle sources and sulphur stable isotopes are consistent with magmatic S sources. However, Mg stable isotopes are consistent with a component of recycled subducted marine carbonate in the source region, The HREE enrichment is a function of both unusual mantle source for the primary magmas and REE mobility and concentration during post-magmatic modification in a sulphate-rich hydrothermal system. Aqueous sulphate is a none specific ligand for the REE, and this coupled with crystal fraction lead to HREE enrichment during subsolidus alteration.
    • Mineralization of Alvinella polychaete tubes at hydrothermal vents

      Georgieva, MN; Little, CTS; Ball, AD; Glover, AG (2015-03)