By Natalie Armstrong
Call it a DNA digital Dewey Decimal System for all life on Earth
Every species, from extinct to thriving, is set to get its own DNA barcode in an attempt to better track the ones that are endangered, as well as those being shipped across international borders as food or consumer products. [No sense patenting animal DNA if they don’t know what normal animal DNA is, right? How could they be sure which animals are “theirs” and which belong to Earth? Salmon ID is specifically mentioned, though GE salmon is not. The silver lining is we’ll know when normal animals are infected with transgenes. ~Ed.]
Researchers hope handheld mobile devices will be able to one day read these digital strips of rainbow-colored barcodes — much like supermarket scanners — to identify different species by testing tissue samples on site and comparing them with a digital database.
The International Barcode of Life Project (iBOL), which says it is the world’s first reference library of DNA barcodes and the world’s largest biodiversity genomics project, is being built by scientists using fragments of DNA to create a database of all life forms.
Read the full post at Reuters