Student sleuths exploring with DNA barcodes reveal zoo of 95 species in typical NYC homes – find a mystery cockroach and new evidence of food fraud

Rockefeller University
New York City

Jan 2 2009Two New York City high school students exploring their homes using the latest high-tech DNA analysis techniques were astonished to discover a veritable zoo of 95 animal species surrounding them, in everything from fridges to furniture, from sidewalks to shipping boxes, and from feather dusters to floor corners.

Guided by DNA “barcoding” experts at The Rockefeller University and the American Museum of Natural History, Grade 12 students Brenda Tan and Matt Cost of Trinity School, Manhattan, also revealed a lot of apparent consumer fraud in progress, finding that the labels of 11 of 66 food products purchased at local markets misrepresented the actual contents.

The January edition of BioScience magazine will report on their “DNA House” project, detailed as well online at

Full news release: click here

Coverage summary: click hereCoverage by the New York Times: click here