New Issue of GeneWatch Magazine-DNA Barcoding: The Quiet Revolution

by jeeg 20. December 2013 20:59

Are the boots you’re wearing made from an endangered species?  Is that really beef you’re eating?   Does that new herbal supplement you’re taking actually contain St. John’s Wort?


DNA barcoding is a simple, standardized way of identifying species from a small sample of DNA.  It has almost limitless potential as both a conservation and consumer protection tool. It can be used to enhance protection of endangered species by aiding in the identification of bushmeat and other animal products. It can be used to conduct detailed biosurveys to identify what lives in a specific area in order to determine whether the ecosystem is in distress, or whether protected or invasive species are present. It can be used to identify falsely labeled consumer products, from sushi to herbal supplements to medicine. And it’s such a simple tool that non-scientists can pursue it for both educational purposes and the common good.


You would think such a fantastic tool, developed as a result of the revolution in our understanding of genetics, would receive regular attention in both major media and biotechnology-oriented publications.


You’d be wrong.


That is why the new issue of GeneWatch magazine, now available online, is devoted to exploring the quiet revolution that is DNA barcoding. We bring together a diverse group of experts from institutions such as the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History, federal agencies such as the FDA and EPA, teachers, commercial companies, game rangers and environmental law enforcement officers from around the world to examine the myriad benefits of this important technology and the challenges we face in promoting its broader acceptance and use. 


Try GeneWatch for free online now at


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