DNA barcodes: Creative new uses span health, fraud, smuggling, history, more

Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL),

Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
November 9, 2009
The scientific ability to quickly and accurately identify species through DNA “barcoding” is being embraced and applied by a growing legion of global authorities – from medical and agricultural researchers to police and customs authorities to palaeontologists and others.
Some 350 experts from 50 nations gathering in Mexico for their 3rd global meeting will outline the latest creative applications of DNA barcoding, including projects to sequence ancient plant and animal remains extracted from northern permafrost cores.
Using new techniques to identify species from degraded DNA, the results could reveal how life on Earth responded to global climate change in ages past.
Meanwhile, by analyzing the DNA of gut contents, scientists have started unravelling secrets of what eats what in the animal world.