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The end of Extinction?

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posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 08:49 AM
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Scientists aim to barcode all life on Earth
Each plant and animal species to get standardized tag




LONDON - A team of international scientists launched an ambitious project on Thursday to genetically identify, or provide a barcode for, every plant and animal species on the planet.

By taking a snippet of DNA from all the known species on Earth and linking them to photographs, descriptions and scientific information, the researchers plan to build the largest database of its kind.

“We have discovered that it is quite possible to have a short DNA sequence that can characterize just about every form of life on the planet,” Dr Richard Lane, director of science at the Natural History Museum in London, told a news conference.

Less than a fifth of the Earth’s estimated 10 million species of plants and animals have been named. Researchers working on the Barcode of Life Initiative hope that genetically identifying all of them in a standardized way on a global scale will speed up the discovery of new ones.

www.msnbc.msn.com...


I think this is a pretty amazing step towards the end of extinct animals. Right now, cloning is not legal (or at least not legal on certain levels), but let's face it, in the future, it will be. By obtaining and labeling DNA on virtually every living creature on the planet, we will be able to bring back animals that are on the verge of extinction right now. So, if and when we lose the wolrds popluation of tigers, we will be able to bring them back once closing is commonplace. We will be able to do that with any animal that we can get our hands on now.

[edit on 10-2-2005 by mpeake]




posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 09:08 AM
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Originally posted by mpeake
“We have discovered that it is quite possible to have a short DNA sequence that can characterize just about every form of life on the planet,”

Please note: This doesn't say they are saving the entire genome of each organism, they are saying they can identify a species using short DNA sequences. It doesn't say anything about storing ALL of an organisms genetic information. Realistically, identification of a species could be performed with as less than 100 DNA bases.



posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 09:25 AM
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True, but why would they just stop with just using short DNA sequences in thier catalogues? Maybe I'm being a bit too scifi minded, but I figured if you can put this kind of logging database together, why not make store all of the species genetic information? Think of the research that could be done 100 years from now when we have lost so many of the species that we have right now



posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 09:37 AM
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Originally posted by mpeake
True, but why would they just stop with just using short DNA sequences

Because processing the entire genome of all known species is an enormous task, and scientists are working on that.... sort of. It's not happening with endangered species currently, mostly with scientifically important model systems etc., but the process will trickle over to other organisms eventually.



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