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).