A battle over land rights in Russia highlights why these storehouses of agricultural materials and knowledge are valuable.

When we think of Endangered species, often panda bears and penguin come to mind. However, plants suffer from the same threat of extinction. In Russia, the Vavilov Research Institute operates as a bank for many of these endangered species. Unfortunately, the seed bank and the over 200 acres of land it occupies is in danger of being demolished and taken over for new house developments by the Russian Housing Development Foundation.

Why are seed banks so important? The answer lies in how scientists are able to use them as controls when disease enters into a population:

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