Geneticists Crack the Species Code
By Stephen Leahy
Sep 14 (IPS) – Scientists are enthusiastic about a new DNA barcoding technology that will help keep illegal fish and timber out of global markets, slow the spread of invasive pests, and improve food safety and disease prevention and offer better environmental monitoring.
“When a tree has been turned into a pile of lumber it’s very hard to know what species it was.” — David Schindel, executive secretary of the Consortium for the Barcode of Life
U.S. government regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are beginning to utilise the three-year-old technology.
“It’s now a proven technology, everyone wants to use it,” said David Schindel, executive secretary of the Consortium for the Barcode of Life, comprised of 160 scientific and regulatory organisations from 50 countries and based at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
“It’s also an incredibly important technology for developing countries to research and protect their biodversity,” Schindel told IPS.