Genomicist Mark Stoeckle and three high school students have taken do-it-yourself science to a new level. Research headquarters are Stoeckle’s Upper West Side apartment, where he’s laid out pipettes, a thermocycler, and a gel reader in the spots usually reserved for a centerpiece and dinner plates. For the past several years, Stoeckle, a physician and an adjunct faculty member at Rockefeller University, has been using DNA barcoding to lead students on a genetic journey through the urban environment. With high schoolers from Trinity School, a private school not far from his home, Stoeckle has made some interesting discoveries: sushi restaurants sometimes lie about what species is on your plate, there’s ostrich DNA in feather dusters, and buffalo mozzarella actually does contain genetic material from water buffalo.
Read the full story.[gallery]