General News

DNA barcoding is making news around the world, with the most recent articles collected below.


  • Barcodes refocus understanding of ecosystems
    Aug 12 2011: You're probably familiar with barcodes, those black and white stripes on most store items that bring about the familiar "beep" when scanned at checkout. They determine whether a scanned item is a gallon of milk or a can of tomato soup. Eight years ago, biologists developed their own sort of barcode that's also used for identification, but these barcodes aren't printed on the outside of items. Instead, they are found inside the DNA of plants and animals studied by biologists.
  • Why are there so many bird species in the tropics?
    Aug 12 2011: What can we learn about evolution, geography and biodiversity by studying continental patterns of speciation?
  • DNA testing by high school students shows many teas contain unlisted ingredients
    Jul 21 2011: Your tea may not be what you think. Three New York City high school students, working with Rockefeller scientists, have found several herbal brews and a few brands of tea contain ingredients unlisted on the manufacturers’ package. The teen sleuths also demonstrated new-to-science genetic variation between broad-leaf teas from exported from India versus small-leaf teas exported from China.
  • New Technology Could Create a Nation of Salmon Detectives
    Jul 12 2011: Many eaters who were stunned by a recent study showing that farmed Atlantic salmon is frequently sold as wild Pacific salmon in Puget Sound area restaurants were equally surprised that the groundbreaking research was conducted by undergraduates.
  • Using DNA in fight against illegal logging
    Jun 30 2011: "Molecular marker methods have been applied to freshly cut wood for a number of years, and it's now also possible to extract and use genetic material from wood products and old samples of wood," Professor Lowe says. "We can use 'DNA barcoding' to identify species, 'DNA fingerprinting' to identify and track individual logs or wood products, and we can also verify the region the wood was sourced from.
  • DNA barcoding identifies mystery meat and so much more
    Jun 20 2011: Imagine this: Authorities in Cameroon seize a batch of bushmeat destined for a nearby market. Now they need to figure out what the dry, shriveled morsels of meat and skin are: An endangered species such as gorilla or a mere rodent? Enter DNA barcoding, a way of identifying species based on a short string of DNA that was pioneered by Canadian evolutionary biologist Paul Hebert in 2003.
  • From Researcher to Crime-Fighter: How Cutting-Edge Science Can Help Stop Illegal Wildlife Trafficking
    Jun 16 2011: A suspicious shipment is stopped by U.S. authorities at one of the country’s many international ports of entry. The box is revealed to contain fragments of powdered tiger bone and dried organs, both common ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine. It’s too late for the tigers, but in order for justice to be served, criminals must be identified and stopped. But how to track the origin of the slain animals? That’s when wildlife forensics enters the crime scene.
  • Foothill students contribute to DNA barcode project
    Jun 15 2011: BioScience Academy students at Foothill Technology High School are joining scientists around the world in a comprehensive DNA bar coding project designed to collect information about unique species.
  • Bees' role in superbug fight, finds Cardiff research
    Jun 13 2011: Beekeepers could hold the key to fighting a variety of drug-resistant superbugs, according to new research.
  • Coastal Marine Biolabs Receives an Education Innovation Award From the National Science Foundation to Engage High School Students in the International Barcode of Life Project
    Jun 7 2011: Coastal Marine Biolabs (CMB) today announced an award from the National Science Foundation to launch the Barcoding Life's Matrix Project.Funded through the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers program, the three-year project seeks to address science education reform agenda by enlisting the participation of high school students in building a reference DNA barcode library of fish and invertebrate species that inhabit the kelp forests of California's northern Channel Islands (sometimes called the North American Galapagos because they are home to over 150 endemic or unique species).
  • Oceana launches seafood fraud campaign
    May 26 2011: Doug Karas, a spokesman for the FDA, said the DNA Barcoding-based method is already in use at the FDA and has led to an alert list of companies with sketchy histories of mislabeling fish. The companies on the list must prove their fish are what they say they are, Karas noted, before authorities will allow the seafood into the United States. This pilot program will soon stretch out across the country.
  • Tests Reveal Mislabeling of Fish
    May 26 2011: Scientists aiming their gene sequencers at commercial seafood are discovering rampant labeling fraud in supermarket coolers and restaurant tables: cheap fish is often substituted for expensive fillets, and overfished species are passed off as fish whose numbers are plentiful.
  • 'Barcoding Blitz' on Australian Moths and Butterflies
    May 16 2011: In just 10 weeks a team of Canadian researchers has succeeded in 'barcoding' 28,000 moth and butterfly specimens -- or about 65 per cent of Australia's 10,000 known species -- held at CSIRO's Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC) in Canberra.
  • Wales to DNA 'barcode' plants
    Apr 7 2011: Wales is set to be the first country to produce a DNA barcode for every one of its native flowering plants, scientists claim. The Barcode Wales project will aim to catalogue all 1,143 species of native flowering plant based on each plant's unique gene sequence. This would mean that the tiniest fragment of leaf or pollen grain could be used to identify any plant in Wales.
  • Special Report: Island Life Under the Microscope in Mo'orea
    Feb 24 2011: A National Geographic special report on the Biocode Project.
  • Blenny Bonanza: Seven New Species of Fish Revealed by Genetic Analysis
    Feb 5 2011: Things are not always what they seem when it comes to fish -- something scientists at the Smithsonian Institution and the Ocean Science Foundation are finding out. Using modern genetic analysis, combined with traditional examination of morphology, the scientists discovered that what were once thought to be three species of blenny in the genus Starksia are actually 10 distinct species.
  • Researchers Barcode Beetles in South Africa No bug is too small for biodiversity safari
    Dec 13 2010: Elephants. Rhinos. The big cats. They’re the creatures most people hope to see on a South African safari. But Erin Corstorphine, a research assistant with U of G’s Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, considered herself lucky during her trek there this fall when she spotted a flightless dung beetle trundling along, digging a burrow as dung beetles do.
  • Will Barcoding DNA Save Species on the Brink?
    Dec 7 2010: We've heard of barcoding trees to prevent deforestation, and tagging animals to track them for scientific purposes is an everyday practice. But what about barcoding the DNA of all animals across the planet to protect them from illegal poaching, trapping or over-hunting? The International Barcode of Life project aims to do just that by assigning a barcode to each individual species' unique DNA so that one day, anyone with a special scanner can read the DNA and know exactly what species they're dealing with. From fish-mongers' stalls to the distribution of an endangered species, the new database may be able to save species and keep a watch on our food supplies.
  • Life forms to get own DNA bar codes
    Nov 1 2010: Hand-held readers will help border guards recognize endangered species and pests, and if trout or salmon sold in stores and restaurants are accurately identified
  • DNA barcodes to protect species
    Oct 30 2010: Scientists believe that DNA barcodes can help track endangered species as well as those shipped to other countries as food or consumer products.

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