in ,

Portable DNA analysis tool identifies species on site to help combat wildlife crime

Each year, trafficking in wildlife parts earns international crime syndicates some $8 billion to $10 billion. The illegal timber trade brings in another estimated $7 billion, and illegal fishing $10 billion to $23 billion. The legal trade of these items is worth even more. Effective enforcement is contingent on police, customs and other officials being able to distinguish animal and plant products that can be traded legally from those that can’t. However, the typical traits that authorities look out for — size, shape, location and behavior —are often insufficient to tell species apart, especially if the samples are young individuals or animal parts, products, and processed samples, such as teeth, bones, skins, tusks, seeds or powders. Elephant herd in Tanzania. DNA analysis can identify ivory from African elephants, which is shipped illegally to Asia and difficult to distinguish from legally traded Asian elephant ivory. Photo credit: Sue Palminteri Scientists and trade authorities have increasingly turned to the DNA of traded products to identify the associated species. They typically collect and send a sample of the plant, animal or its product to a laboratory for genetic analysis. Over the last decade, scientists have developed DNA barcoding, a technique that scans a short sequence from a standard part of the organism’s DNA and compares it to a database of sequences to see where it matches. Similar to how a supermarket scanner recognizes products using the black stripes of the Universal Product Code (UPC), DNA barcoding can associate a sample with a particular…

Sharing is Caring

Original Post by Mongabay

What do you think?

0 points
Upvote Downvote

Total votes: 0

Upvotes: 0

Upvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Downvotes: 0

Downvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How a group of California nuns challenged the Catholic Church

Here’s a great way to visualize the huge potential of forest conservation and restoration as ‘natural climate solutions’