Spent the night talking human disease vectors with Daniel Boakye, a Ghanaian biologist (I call him a mosquito man). I'm in Taipei, Taiwan attending the 2nd International Barcode of Life Conference. What initially attracted me to the concept of linkurl:barcoding;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22424/ is the sheer magnitude of taxonomic ignorance under which all biologists operate. Science has identified only about 1.8 million of the estimated 10 million species of plant, animal, fungus, and bacteria on this planet. DNA barcoding, which could quickly and efficiently distinguish species by sequencing one snippet of one gene, may help to rapidly find the missing parts of Earth's biodiversity. But Boakye and I, sitting on a park bench at linkurl:Academia Sinica,;http://www.sinica.edu.tw/main_e.shtml the Taiwanese institution where one of the chromosomes in the linkurl:rice genome;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/20310/ was sequenced back in 2002, talked about the real applicability of barcoding, not the purely Linnaean aspect of the technology. Talk about cutting to the...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?