Taxonomy With Technology

Joel Lyons jrlyons at
Mon Mar 25 21:05:57 EST 2002

Well, lookee here, there's something out there called
the All Species Foundation.  They are trying to penetrate
taxonomy with technology (this article goes on to
describe taxonomy as a disciple so reactionary that it
still describes things in latin, humph).  All Species wants
to change that.  Their goal, with private funds, is to take
all of the world's taxonomic projects and sythesize them
into one uber-catalog of every living thing on earth ... even
viruses ... within 25 years.  E. O. Wilson is on the All
Species Science Board, by the by.  Here's the really cool
part:  Lepidopterists (stand up and take a bow), for
example, now have access to the pattern recognition
software currently used to spot known terrorists at
the airport.  It can identify thousands of varieties of
butterfly by wing  markings alone.  And somewhere down
the road:  The ultimate fieldworker's species identification
tool:  the disposable gene sequencer.

audere scire!
Taken from article by
Jennifer Kahn in the
NRDC's current issue.


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