How do animals prevent and treat disease?

Capuchins use smelly plants to prevent insect bites:

A fascinating exhibition, showing other ways the animal kingdom prevents and treats infection and disease, goes on show in Central Library from tomorrow.

Learn about how chimps use rolled up leaves to remove gut parasites; how honey bees treat infection in their hive and how humans commonly use the environment in which they live to treat and/or prevent infection, whether treating nettle rash with dock leaves or taking Aspirin – a drug originally developed from Meadowsweet.

The exhibition is on until Tuesday 15th April and there’s a related activity trail taking place in the Zoo on Wednesday between 10am and 4pm, which is free with Zoo admission.

Part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, in partnership with the University of St Andrews and RZSS Edinburgh Zoo.

The Decoration of Spring

Spring has arrived! The flowers bud, newborn animals lay in the fields; and the sky transforms from the dark grey snows of winter, to the dull grey constant rain that all other seasons in the British Isles consist of.

So to help evoke the more traditional thoughts of spring, we turn to Capital Collections new online exhibition ‘L’ animal dans la decoration’. Merging bold colours with the use of animals, French Art Nouveau artist Maurice Pillard Verneuil, created a collection of prints which show how animals can inspire design and decoration in items of furniture, papers, tiles and even outdoor items such as railings.

So let Edinburgh Libraries bring spring to you, when the rain (or snow!!) prevents you from getting out and experiencing it for yourself.

Some unusual visitors at Leith Library

Zoolab visited Leith Library as part of the Summer Space Hop Reading Challenge 2010 activities. Over 20 children and parents enjoyed this fascinating talk about insects and small animals which have survived for millions of years and who knows, may be living on another planet at this very moment.

The children had the chance to handle a range of live animals including a snake, frog, giant millipede and rat, but only looked at the tarantula in its box!