Barcoding Nature: Shifting Cultures of Taxonomy in an Age of by Claire Waterton

By Claire Waterton

DNA Barcoding has been promoted seeing that 2003 as a brand new, quick, electronic genomics-based technique of making a choice on usual species according to the concept that a small average fragment of any organism’s genome (a so-called ‘micro-genome’) can faithfully establish and support to categorise each species on the earth. the terror that species have gotten extinct earlier than they've got ever been identified fuels barcoders, and the rate, scope, economic climate and ‘user-friendliness’ claimed for DNA barcoding, as a part of the bigger ferment round the ‘genomics revolution’, has additionally inspired supplies that it may possibly motivate humanity to opposite its biodiversity-destructive habits.

This publication is predicated on six years of ethnographic examine on altering practices within the id and type of average species. expert either by way of technological know-how and expertise experiences (STS) and the anthropology of technology, the authors examine DNA barcoding within the context of a feeling of hindrance – pertaining to international biodiversity loss, but additionally the felt inadequacy of taxonomic technology to deal with such loss. The authors chart the explicit alterations that this innovation is propelling within the amassing, organizing, reading, and archiving of organic specimens and biodiversity info. As they achieve this they spotlight the numerous questions, ambiguities and contradictions that accompany the search to create a genomics-based environmental technoscience devoted to biodiversity safeguard. They ask what it may possibly suggest to recognize ambiguity, contradiction, and extra extra publicly as a constitutive a part of this and different genomic technosciences.

Barcoding Nature should be of curiosity to scholars and students of sociology of technology, technological know-how and expertise stories, politics of our surroundings, genomics and post-genomics, philosophy and historical past of biology, and the anthropology of science.

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Additional resources for Barcoding Nature: Shifting Cultures of Taxonomy in an Age of Biodiversity Loss

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IBOL. The International Barcode of Life project is the largest global consortium of DNA barcoding projects, labs and networks to date. It was initiated from the University of Guelph, Canada, in 2010. org. ● BOLD. The Barcode of Life Data Systems is an online workbench that aids collection, management, analysis and use of DNA barcodes. It consists of three components (MAS, IDS and ECS) addressing the needs of various groups in the barcoding community. org. ● GenBank®. Genbank is a genetic sequence database, run through the USA’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and is part of the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration, which comprises the DNA DataBank of Japan (DDBJ), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and GenBank at NCBI.

DNA barcoding: a no-brainer for taxonomy? 01% of the estimated 10–15 million species (Hammond 1992; Hawksworth and Kalin-Arroyo 1995), a community of 15,000 taxonomists will be required, in perpetuity, to identify life if our reliance on morphological diagnosis is to be sustained. (Hebert et al. 2003a: 313) Presenting their arguments as building upon the technologically framed vision of Godfray (2002), Tautz et al. g. Blaxter 2003; Bisby et al. 2002), the researchers at Guelph did not skirt around what they perceived to be the glaringly obvious limits of the human capacity for morphological identification on a global scale.

2001) and bacteria (Hamels et al. 2001). 6 Whilst there were great hopes for CO1 in these DNA barcoding 33 early stages, it was recognized that it would be ‘impossible for any mitochondrially based identification system to resolve fully the complexity of life’ (Hebert et al. 2003a: 319). It was anticipated that the plant kingdom, in particular, would provide significant extra challenges because of the different evolutionary histories of plants and animals. Hebert suggested to us in interview in 2006: We know strange things are happening in CO1 in plants … in some plant groups it’s evolving like a rocket.

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