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A group of Florida Museum of Natural History scientists has issued a “call to action” to use big data to tackle longstanding questions about plant diversity and evolution and forecast how plant life will fare on an increasingly human-dominated planet.

In a commentary published today in Nature Plants, the scientists urged their colleagues to take advantage of massive, open-access data resources in their research and help grow these resources by filling in remaining data gaps.

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“Using big data to address major biodiversity issues at the global scale has enormous practical implications, ranging from conservation efforts to predicting and buffering the impacts of climate change,” said study author Doug Soltis, a Florida Museum curator and distinguished professor in the University of Florida department of biology. “The links between big data resources we see now were unimaginable just a decade ago. The time is ripe to leverage these tools and applications, not just for plants but for all groups of organisms”. (1)

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Trying to understand the big picture.

By analyzing it all.

But you can never judge a book by reading all its pages.

You just read one. And then throw it away. Since you will already filled with the undying spirit of the author’s inspiration.

You can never judge a bottle of wine by drinking it all.

You just get a sip. And then spit it out. For you will be already full with the perfection of its taste and the distinctiveness of its aroma.

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We cannot judge the cosmos by knowing everything about it. But only by sensing it to the point of remembering nothing about it.

Just see a butterfly fly.

Watch it die.

Sense eternity in its every dying breath…