NETWATCH: Telltale Stripes

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Science  19 Jan 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5810, pp. 309
DOI: 10.1126/science.315.5810.309a

Devotees of DNA bar-coding, a method of differentiating species using short, standard DNA sequences, hope to speed the description of new kinds of organisms and make it easier for nontaxonomists to identify tricky specimens such as the tachinid fly (Adejeania vexatrix). Keeping track of the latest developments in the field is Mark Stoeckle, a physician who teaches in the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University in New York City. Last March, Stoeckle launched the Barcode of Life Blog, which provides weekly news updates, analyses of papers, and other information. Recent posts, for example, discuss the technique's success in distinguishing hard-to-separate species of red algae and why the mitochondrial DNA sequences often used as bar codes differ more between species than within them.

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