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

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  • How well might barcoding work with tiny, damaged, old and even ancient specimens" DNA barcoding is expected to identify illegally-obtained wildlife species and wildlife-derived products based on fragments and poorly preserved samples. Researchers will describe DNA barcoding species thought to be extinct, (e.g. moas, an extinct bird species from New Zealand). To enable such identifications, other researchers will report on a new 7-enzyme cocktail that repairs DNA damaged by ultra-violet light, oxidation, heat and other factors.

  • What should be the balance between building the reference library of barcodes of species already known to science and using barcoding to discover possible new species"

  • What insights into evolution might arise as the barcode database grows toward a million barcode records, expected within a few years" What patterns might we discern that will help us to understand exactly how evolution and speciation occur at the molecular level"

The Astonishing Growth of a New Species of Science

The 2nd International Barcode of Life Conference in Taipei will reveal remarkable progress by the Barcode of Life Initiative since the first such conference, at the Natural History Museum, London, in February, 2005.

Barcodes are in hand for about 20% of the world's estimated 10,000 bird species, and about 10% of the estimated 35,000 marine and freshwater fishes. An emerging international research network plans barcode coverage of more than 500,000 species of all kinds within five years.

Technologies and processes available today can identify a species through its DNA within a few hours at a cost of less than US $2. Scientists believe that process will soon be shaved to mere minutes and a few pennies using new, highly-portable technologies such as DNA microchips, massively parallel sequencers and microfluidic systems.

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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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