ABOL at the Long Night of Museums


Last Saturday (October 7th), ABOL was represented together with the Central Research Laboratories at the Long Night of Museums in the Natural History Museum Vienna. Visitors were able to find out more about ABOL, DNA barcoding and DNA-based research in general from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. In the mobile lab, DNA was extracted from tomatoes using simple tools and the DNA could be admired with fascination as a light-colored sediment in the sample tube. We explained the basics and applications of DNA barcoding and what the ABOL initiative does. The prepared dragonflies received particular attention as an example of how insects are preserved in the museum. Some of the visitors were amazed that there are 78 different species of dragonflies in Austria. Exuviae of dragonflies could be viewed under the stereo magnifier, which was also very popular. So the long night was very entertaining for us. We are pleased about the great interest and the many interesting conversations that developed. With 16,000 visitors, the event was a huge success for the NHM.