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SCI/TECH: Scientists Start "Barcoding" of Life

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posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 11:51 AM
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A project to create a giant database of life on Earth was launched yesterday at the International Conference for the Barcoding of Life in London. The project is expected to take years to complete and will begin with the cataloguing of birds and fish.
 



news.bbc.co.uk
"About 1.7 million species are known - we suspect there are anything from 10-30 million species on Earth," explained Dr Richard Lane, director of science at London's Natural History Museum.

"We have discovered that it is quite possible to have a short DNA sequence that can characterise just about every form of life on the planet."

At the cost of about £1 ($1.80) per genetic test, many specimens for each species will now be analysed to obtain their barcode information.

This data will then be put into a giant database which the Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL) hopes can be used to link off to all the knowledge acquired by science on particular organisms.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Aside from the Orwellian sounding term "barcoding" to describe this, it sounds like a good idea. It sounds like the modern version of what museums used to do with real specimens, and although it might be equally time consuming to set up it should be much more reliable and easy to access.

Related News Links:
news.scotsman.com


[edit on 10-2-2005 by kegs]




posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 01:32 PM
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Sounds pretty interesting. But yeah, I agree that they should have used some different term besides barcoding. That just makes all the NWO/mark of the beast conspiracy theorists' ears prick up. Metaphorically.



posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 01:38 PM
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IMO - very interesting.


...Anyone have any ideas why this is now a priority project? ...I'm thinking 6th Mass Extinction and prion epidemics...


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posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 01:45 PM
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so when I take my boys out on a nature hike, all I gotta do is bring my portable UPC reader along to identify animals and plants?

I hope they put the barcode under easily accessable leaves
Birds and wildlife need to hold still for a second



posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 01:48 PM
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Originally posted by kegs
A project to create a giant database of life on Earth was launched yesterday at the International Conference for the Barcoding of Life in London. The project is expected to take years to complete and will begin with the cataloguing of birds and fish.
 



news.bbc.co.uk
"About 1.7 million species are known - we suspect there are anything from 10-30 million species on Earth," explained Dr Richard Lane, director of science at London's Natural History Museum.

"We have discovered that it is quite possible to have a short DNA sequence that can characterise just about every form of life on the planet."

At the cost of about £1 ($1.80) per genetic test, many specimens for each species will now be analysed to obtain their barcode information.

This data will then be put into a giant database which the Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL) hopes can be used to link off to all the knowledge acquired by science on particular organisms.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Aside from the Orwellian sounding term "barcoding" to describe this, it sounds like a good idea.

Its just a systematic method. Some zoologists and systematists have suggested dropping the linean binomial system infact for something that does resemble bar codes too.


soficrow
Anyone have any ideas why this is now a priority project

In part its because of the widening spread of the usage of cladistics to sort out relationships and also because there is an understanding, amoung scientists just as amoung the 'public' that there is a need to understand how many organisms are out there and what their characteristics are. There is no need for a conspiracy or secret knowledge here. Most systematics meetings are open to the public and what not and they're not directed by anyone. Well, okay, there is the ICZN, but thats just a set of formalized rules about how to name things, not an 'all poweful commitee' or somesuch.

It wouldn't have anything to do with prions.



posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan


soficrow
Anyone have any ideas why this is now a priority project

In part its because of the widening spread of the usage of cladistics to sort out relationships and also because there is an understanding, amoung scientists just as amoung the 'public' that there is a need to understand how many organisms are out there and what their characteristics are.




My question was why now when there are so many other pressing concerns in thw world.





There is no need for a conspiracy or secret knowledge here.




Nope. News about the 6th Mass Extinction is everywhere - except the mainstream news - and without context, framework or analysis.






Well, okay, there is the ICZN, but thats just a set of formalized rules about how to name things, not an 'all poweful commitee' or somesuch.




Huh? You're talkin conspiracy, not me. I'm talking about information that's already in the public domain.






It wouldn't have anything to do with prions.



References please? ...and I'm sure you're aware that I have references squirreled all over ATS to prove the validity of my QUESTION and SUGGESTION - which was designed to open investigation, not placate the masses with more reassurances and papcrap.


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posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 02:18 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow

Originally posted by Nygdan


soficrow
Anyone have any ideas why this is now a priority project

In part its because of the widening spread of the usage of cladistics to sort out relationships and also because there is an understanding, amoung scientists just as amoung the 'public' that there is a need to understand how many organisms are out there and what their characteristics are.




My question was why now when there are so many other pressing concerns in thw world.





There is no need for a conspiracy or secret knowledge here.




Nope. News about the 6th Mass Extinction is everywhere - except the mainstream news - and without context, framework or analysis.






Well, okay, there is the ICZN, but thats just a set of formalized rules about how to name things, not an 'all poweful commitee' or somesuch.




Huh? You're talkin conspiracy, not me. I'm talking about information that's already in the public domain.






It wouldn't have anything to do with prions.



References please? ...and I'm sure you're aware that I have references squirreled all over ATS to prove the validity of my QUESTION and SUGGESTION - which was designed to open investigation, not placate the masses with more reassurances and papcrap.


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99% of these "species" are microbial. They are bacteria, archea and various single celled or simple eukarya. Particulalrly in the bacteria and archea there has been debate for the last decade or so about the validity of the species concept for the bacteria and archea. Switching from a binomial nomenclature to a genetic based nomenclature for such organisms is necessary for biologists, especially when you consider that you often will have more genetic variation within a single "bacterial species" than a eukaryotic genera.

The current extinction is of macrofauna, of which we have already named all of them, so I'm not exactly sure what you're getting at.



posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
...and I'm sure you're aware that I have references squirreled all over ATS to prove the validity of my QUESTION and SUGGESTION - . . .

emphasis added


I have no doubt this is true. Come on prions


Barcode- how 'ineteresting.' Cattle are in the process of individual barcodes as are shipping containers and most boxes.

What a database- wow.

I wonder how many of each species? will be used to provide an absolute 'typical specimen.'

Do all humans have exactly the same DNA?

After watching OJ v. L.A. years back I doubt it.

Let's say a robin has 296 DNA points the same as a sparrow but only 12 the same as a crow, then is the robin more sparrow-like or maybe it developed during the same time frame?

Should be interesting.
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posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by rg73

99% of these "species" are microbial. They are bacteria, archea and various single celled or simple eukarya. Particulalrly in the bacteria and archea there has been debate for the last decade or so about the validity of the species concept for the bacteria and archea. Switching from a binomial nomenclature to a genetic based nomenclature for such organisms is necessary for biologists, especially when you consider that you often will have more genetic variation within a single "bacterial species" than a eukaryotic genera.

The current extinction is of macrofauna, of which we have already named all of them, so I'm not exactly sure what you're getting at.



...Me and my big mouth. ...FYI - I do think prions are implicated in the 6th Mass Extinction, currently underway according to many scientists. ...Basing my claim on the cell changes that are occurring in connective tissue stem cells (fibroblasts), and leading to cancer, genetic change, etc. - most are derived from misfolded a-smooth muscle actin, and implicate leptin (a hormone protein). ...I grant that most scientists who acknowledge the 6th Mass Extinction believe it to be caused by climate change - I think their info is incomplete...


...Re: barcoding - I think they're looking beyond microbial life - my understanding is they're collecting genetic codes on everything, possibly tissue samples.


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posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 09:00 PM
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Is there some data on this '6th mass extinction' thing?

Is this just another scientific theory?



were there unicorns?



posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 09:37 PM
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Originally posted by JoeDoaks
were there unicorns?


You should check out the book The History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, by Juilan Barnes. The whole book is great, but the first chapter in particular is a retelling of the Noah's Ark story and answers this very question.


About the 6th Mass Extinction - I know little of this topic, but since the first five were natural events, is this really our concern - besides not being a casuality ourselves?

As was said, there are more pressing concerns in the world.

And as to the timing - sure there may be more pressing concerns, but every scientist isn't working on the same big issues. Perhaps computers, understanding of genetics, and an urge to database suddenly hit a group of scientists all at once.



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