Miniature biosphere

Miniature biosphere A NEW batch of occupants has moved into Biosphere 2 -- the glass and steel structure enclosing 3 ha in Oracle, Arizona, where scientists are trying to create a miniature earth complete with rain forests, savannahs, a marsh and an "ocean" (Nature, Vol 368, No 6467).

Unlike the earlier occupants, all of whom were non-scientists with special survival skills, the new team of six volunteers would be involved in several scientific experiments during their stay lasting four months to one year. This, hope supporters of the controversial project funded by Texan oil billionaire Edward Bass, would silence detractors who have accused it of not doing any hard science.

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