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Extinction Countdown

DNA bar codes, a new tool for tracking illegal wildlife trade

illegally traded bushmeat products

The illegal trade of bushmeat—meat and products made from wildlife—has grown dramatically in the past several years, thanks to high demand, enormous profits, a lack of law enforcement and minimal sentencing for criminals caught trafficking in bushmeat. The worldwide market for these illegal products reached an estimated $5 billion to $8 billion in 2008. One [...]

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Rare flowers and common herbal supplements get unmasked with plant DNA bar coding

botanist with plant in beaker

NEW YORK—Will exotic orchids soon be subjected to the same genetic scrutiny as some luxury caviars? That is just one of the coding conundrums that scientists convened at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx to discuss on a cloudy mid-April afternoon. If plant DNA barcoding proves to be as useful as it has [...]

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