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.