Sunday, September 26, 2010

First DNA barcoding library activated, what lies next ?

DNA or deoxyribonucleic acids chains carries information on our gene. DNA is unique because none of the DNA is identical to the other individual. The DNA of one species too  differs from other species. In short DNA is the single most complete  information coding that stamps out  INDIVIDUALITY- so unique that DNA is now legally used to identify individual involved in crime, paternity lawsuits and progeny of famous people like the recent case tracing the offspring of  US president Thomas Jefferson with Sarah Hemming; the coloured slave.

Most recently Canada has succeeded in compiling the DNA barcode library  of more than 80,000 species (read excerpt below) . While the noble  aim is to build a digital identification system for all life on Earth to reduce the time and cost of species identification, it would not be long before the system is misused for other purposes, military exercises and certain human cleansing - under the pretext of fighting terrorism?

The aftermath of 9/11 saw that Muslims the world over being singled out as "terrorists" matter that we the Muslim represented the largest religious group being mistreated and oppressed in The Balkans conflicts, The Chechen in Dargestan, The Uighur suppressed uprising in China, the senseless killing of Pattanis in Southern Thailand, The Moro's of Southern Philippines and the mother of all crime, the brutal killings of innocent Palestinians in occupied Palestine.

I have mentioned my worries regarding Islamophobia as the aftermath of 9/11 and the backlashes the Muslims world over suffered in my previous article here

While we hail  the success of science, let us hope that this recently found technology advances will not be misused as "weapon" to wipe out certain race or to oppress certain group based on their religious beliefs.

OTTAWA (AFP) – An international consortium of geneticists on Saturday will activate a DNA barcode library in Toronto representing almost 80,000 species, the International Barcode of Life Project (iBOL) announced.

The aim is to eventually build a digital identification system for all life on Earth to reduce the time and cost of species identification.

To mark the world?s largest biodiversity genomic initiative, Toronto's CN Tower -- the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere -- is to be illuminated as a giant bar code, iBOl said.

"We are witnessing alarming rates of species extinction," said iBOL scientific director Paul Hebert.

"But efforts to reverse that trend are hampered by huge gaps in our knowledge about the distribution and diversity of life. DNA barcoding promises a future where everyone will have rapid access to the names and biological attributes of every species on Earth."

DNA barcoding, which identifies species using a short DNA sequence from a standard location on the genome, will also be a vital tool for conservation and for monitoring species that have adverse impacts on human health and economic wellbeing, he said.

More than 25 countries are involved in the project.

Work over the past five years has produced barcode records for almost 80,000 species.

By 2015, consortium members are expected to have entered DNA barcode records from five million specimens representing half a million species into the interactive Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD) databank, and eventually all of Earth's animal, plant and fungal species.;_ylt=Ao.lb0I1r8UpC52eLuoIXZ9Y24cA;_ylu=X3oDMTNrY203YWpoBGFzc2V0Ay9zL2FmcC8yMDEwMDkyNS9zY19hZnAvY2FuYWRhc2NpZW5jZWdlbmV0aWNzBGNjb2RlA21wX2VjXzhfMTAEY3BvcwM5BHBvcwM5BHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcmllcwRzbGsDZG5hYmFyY29kZWxp

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