[EAS] Barcodes Great and Small

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Thu Dec 11 23:41:19 EST 2003

Subject:   Barcodes Great and Small

Global ID-cards for all living things. Presumably this could lead to
generalizations on the ideas of "driver's licenses," "voter
registration," etc.  --PJK

(from NewsScan Daily, 10 December 2003)

A new approach to species identification, now being debated among
biologists, would create a kind of bar code from a small segment of
DNA in the genome of each living thing, a tag that would definitively
discriminate between species. The coding concept, adapted from the
retail and manufacturing industries, was suggested by evolutionary
biologist Paul D.N. Hebert of the University of Guelph in Ontario,
Canada.  Hebert says that, in a very real sense, the ACGT genetic code
sequences "can be viewed as genetic 'bar codes' that are embedded in
every cell." Earlier this year, leading scientists involved in
taxonomy (the classification of organisms) met to plan the creation of
an international bar-coding system, and Hebert hopes such meetings
will lead to the creation of a database that could become a giant
DNA-based identification system that will begin with animals but
eventually expand to include all living things. (San Jose Mercury News
9 Dec 2003) http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/7452033.htm

More information about the EAS-INFO mailing list