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Amid spiralling government interest, world's top 350 DNA barcode scientists meet in Taipei
Date:9/14/2007

D.C.: "Taxonomists have documented a small portion of the world's plant and animal species over the past 300 years; DNA barcoding adds a fast, objective and repeatable approach to this enormous task that can shift the enterprise into a higher gear."

"Barcodes can document and confirm known species while uncovering lots of hidden variation, some of which may lead to the description of new species."

"Presenters at the Taipei conference will show how barcoding is expanding our knowledge of nature and is simultaneously providing tangible, specific and significant benefits to society. The good science coming out of the barcoding community is helping governments to produce wise policies and well-informed regulations."

Hot Topics Include Consumer Protection

Hot topics for the barcode researchers, policy-makers and government regulators involve consumer, agricultural, health and environmental protection.

For example, researchers will report having DNA barcoded all 689 species listed in World Economic Plants: A Standard Reference, a prelude to testing the identity and purity of plant-based medicines and herbals. Government agencies are seizing the potential of barcoding for improved regulation. In the USA alone, for example:

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration envisions several potential barcode data uses, such as:
    • More reliable identification of catch and by-catch on commercial vessels and at the dock;
    • Better understanding of the food chain through analysis of gut contents; and
    • Improved fish stock assessments, based on identification of larvae as well as juveniles and adults;

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been working with CBOL to generate barcodes for economically relevant and potentially hazardous fish species. CBOL has provided samples of authenticated fish specimens that are in the FDA Regulat
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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL)
Source:Eurekalert

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