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

impact regulatory statutes and raise concerns for the conservation status of European medicinal leeches.

  • The U.S. Federal Aviation Authority and U.S. Air Force are supporting bird barcoding as it may help reduce bird-aircraft collisions.

According to Carla Dove of the Smithsonian Institution: "Knowing which birds are most often struck, and the timing, altitude and routes of their migrations, could avert some of the thousands of annual collisions between birds and aircraft, military and civilian."

All birds of North America are now barcoded, and progress on the birds of other regions will be presented in Taipei.

Barcoding mosquitoes

Prominent human health-related efforts include barcoding several thousand species of mosquito -- including insects responsible for up to 500 million human malarial infections and 1 million deaths each year. As well as malaria, mosquitoes transmit many other devastating diseases as well, such as West Nile and Dengue, and worms.

"Key to disease management is vector control," says scientist Yvonne-Marie Linton of The Natural History Museum, London, and leader of the Mosquito Barcoding Initiative (MBI). However, control efforts are consistently undermined by species misidentification, and DNA barcoding can tremendously assist the world's remaining expert mosquito taxonomists struggling to keep up with new species discoveries, she adds.

The MBI was created to provide freely accessible, high quality DNA sequence data to inform and facilitate systematic studies. Its goal: to sequence within two years about 2,800 - some 80% - of the almost 3,500 recognized mosquito species.

Researchers elsewhere worldwide are focused on barcoding other biting insects - blood-sucking pests to birds, to people and other mammals alike - causing diseases, stress and allergic reactions. To date, barcodes have been completed for some 1,600 specimens of black flie
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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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