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Friday, January 3, 2014

Checking Out with DNA Barcodes


Looks are deceiving among gulls. Young ring-billed gulls have brown spots and can look different than adult gulls. Coding helps to determine if they are the same or different species to avoid mislabeling.Info
DNA mapping of species is becoming a popular practice due to its accuracy. Researchers have difficulty seeing small differences among species that are similar and have moved to mapping chloroplast DNA. (1). The concept has been called DNA barcoding because each species comes with a unique map that helps to denote their origins. 

Researchers believe that the DNA bar coding trend will likely help understand marine species and development (2). Sometimes sea life is hard to discern from each other. At other times, species found on the coast are decomposed and difficult to identify. By testing their DNA they are able to find out what they are, where they came from, and the school that is in the area. 

Bird mapping is already in process. Most bird species diverge by 9.54 % on average and inter-species are different by around .29 % making them discernible from each other (3). Gulls seem to mix up their DNA and are more difficult to measure. It is likely that birds will be the first group to be fully mapped. 

The advantages of DNA mapping are great. Many of us assume that most of the world’s species are already in existence. This is a false assumption as species change, merge, and adjust over time. As the environment changes genetic variability and inter-breeding will create new species that vary from their ancestors in unique ways. This is a necessity in living in a moving and adjusting world where new adaptations are needed to overcome challenges.

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