Linnaeus originally began designing and developing his taxonomic system by studying and classifying plants. Originally, it was thought there were perhaps 10,000 plant species out there, but it quickly became obvious that this was a gross underestimate. The vast majority of plant species alive today are classified as flowering plants. In a paper published in 2008, scientists working at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew estimated there are 352,000 extant species of flowering plants (Magnoliophyta). But because many groups of flowering plants have yet to be assessed, the true number probably exceeds 400,000 species.
For more than a century, taxonomic information was locked away in a variety of dusty journals in vast libraries, where most people could not find or access it. In the meanwhile, science has been marching onward at an ever-increasing rate of speed, which makes it important to be able to rapidly access this information. To address this problem, Kew created a global online resource that catalogues the taxonomy of monocot plants. (Monocots comprise roughly one-fifth of all flowering plants.)
This resource, eMonocot, unlocks biodiversity data for the monocots for the first time so anyone -- whether a senior-level researcher or a student writing a school report -- can access the latest tools for identification and descriptions as well as up-to-date checklists, along with links to other resources.
An engineering project that aims to address an area that has been largely ignored - making a better breast pump. There are many areas where progress stopped decades ago that aren't 'interesting enough' to attract the necessary innovation.