Lego helps scientists study delicate insect specimens

Who knew playing with a popular childhood toy could help solve a scientific problem?

Each time Museum entomologist Dr Steen Dupont wanted to compare insect specimens, he faced using expensive and fiddly equipment to repeatedly reposition them so that he could study their details from many angles. With specimens often tiny and fragile with age, this could be a tricky and heart-stopping process.

His inspired solution? To work with Museum colleagues Dr Benjamin Price and Dr Vladimir Blagoderov to design and build a new gadget out of Lego.

Watch a stop motion video of one being assembled, above, and read the full story.

Using step-by-step instructions published by the team, you could even build your own.

Read the news

Find out how the new gadget will help the Museum to digitise 20 million specimens over the next five years.

Digital Museum

Learn more about the Museum's ambitious programme to digitise the collections.