Scientists to Create Modern Noah's Ark

lunamoth

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from: http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=153192005


The Scotsman


Scientists to create modern Noah's Ark

RHIANNON EDWARD


SCIENTISTS today embark on a momentous project to "barcode" every species of life on Earth and create what would be a modern-day Noah’s Ark.

The aim is to have a record of genetic sequences that identify every one of the estimated ten million species of plants and animals by 2010.

Many extinct species may also be barcoded using DNA from museum specimens.

Less than a fifth of the Earth’s flora and fauna have been named by scientists.

The task of identifying and describing the vast array of known and unknown species on the planet is a massive one, but vital to scientific research.

The project is being co-ordinated by the Consortium for the Barcode of Life, which will bring together experts from fields such as taxonomy - the classification of living organisms - and information management.

Scott Miller, chairman of the organisation, said at a news conference at the Natural History Museum in London: "DNA barcoding will make a huge difference to our knowledge and understanding of the natural world."

DNA barcodes will make species recognition in the field much easier, especially where traditional methods are not practical.

They will also give non- specialists an easy way to make identifications and provide access to detailed species information.

Identification will become more reliable. DNA analysis has already forced experts to re-think classifications of some species previously identified by physical characteristics.

As well as improving understanding of life’s evolutionary history, the collected information will help conservation efforts and aid the fight against infectious diseases and pests.

Dr Richard Lane, director of science at the Natural History Museum, said: "If we don’t know what species we have, how can we know what we’re losing and take practical steps to stem the loss of the world’s plants and animals?

"Just as the human genome project inspired new ways of human biological research, we hope that barcoding DNA will lead to new ways of investigating ecology and evolution that can be of use to all."

It may also be possible to archive barcodes of extinct animals by taking DNA from museum specimens, said Dr Lane.

Scientists are looking at new ways of repairing extracted DNA so that it can be used for identification.
 
Not exactly sure what they mean by barcoding. I wonder how they will barcode the remaing 4/5 of species not yet classified by 2010 :D .

Anyway, an interesting endeavor.
 
A little more info...

The Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL) is an international initiative devoted to developing DNA barcoding as:
An accurate and reliable tool for scientific research on the taxonomy of plant and animal species;
A practical, cost-effective tool for assigning unidentified specimens to their correct species; and
A system for expanding interest and activity in taxonomy.
Taxonomy – the discovery, description, and classification of different species – is the foundation on which systematic and evolutionary biology rests. The Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus began formal taxonomy in the 18th century, and since that time taxonomists have been discovering and describing new species. Initially, most species were differentiated by their adult morphology but more sophisticated approaches have been added over the generations. Electron microscopy, behavioral traits, biochemical markers are all tools that taxonomists have acquired to improve the science of taxonomy. “DNA Barcoding” is a new and exciting addition to the taxonomists’ toolbox.

DNA Barcoding is the use of a short gene sequence from a standardized region of the genome that can be used to help discover, characterize, and distinguish species, and to assign unidentified individuals to species. CBOL is an international initiative devoted to promoting the development of DNA barcoding as a rapid, cost-effective tool for the identification of species. CBOL is a an alliance of:


Natural history museums, herbaria, zoos, botanical gardens;
Research organizations devoted to biodiversity, conservation, bioinformatics, genetics and related topics;
Government agencies, NGOs, and other organizations that rely on taxonomic information; and
Private sector companies

The Consortium was created in 2004 with the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The CBOL Secretariat is hosted by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Contact the Secretariat Office with your questions about CBOL and DNA barcoding!

from: http://barcoding.si.edu/index_detail.htm
 
Interesting lunamoth:)

Sounds like some kind of scanning device, similiar to what they are using in retail for pricing, promo, stock qty, sales etc. I know this is well underway with wildlife and the banking/money system.

I see why they want to do this especially since one type of plant life can have hundereds of varieties. I also find it interesting how they keep experimenting with plants and 'design' a new breed. Except for a lot of them revert back to there original color after one or two seasons. Or seeds can be pollinated and without realizing it, you get a whole different variety that what you expected from the year before. LOL

I mean, they have trees where you can get grapefruit, orange and lemon all off of one tree. I think it is something new, I have never tried one. I also noticed they have a perrenial bananna tree that comes back in zones that drop below freezing. The fruit is not edible (yet)... I have not tried it either. I know some greenhouses (floral sales as gifts) inject something into many plants and bulbs that only allows them to live so long, so the reciever of the gift, has to buy another plant because they feel guilty about killing it. Kind of the same way they inject dyes and acids to make cut flowers last longer. (trade secrets)
I could say a lot, but I wont.

To keep organized with all there experiments they will need this barcode system. Especially if they want to create a spider that is as big as a horse and a miniature horse the size of a spider.:D
 
Hi Bandit,

I don't think it is a scanning device but it is a method like DNA fingerprinting. It would require extracting DNA from all the different species and then using RFLP (restriction fragment polymorphism) or PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to see whether species that look similar are also similar at the DNA level (don't worry about the preceding jargon :) these are just techiniques for "seeing" the differences in DNA sequence). Plus, the extent of differences between the DNA sequences would relate to how diveregent different species are and so could help work out evolutionary trees better than going on morphological differences.

I think the reference to Noah's Ark is just saying that in a small place there will be representations of all living organisms.

At this time it is impossible to recreate an organism from a tiny sample of DNA but hey it wasn't so long ago that it was that said cloning of animals and humans would be impossible. Jurassic Park, here we come :) .
 
Bandit said:
Interesting lunamoth:)

I mean, they have trees where you can get grapefruit, orange and lemon all off of one tree. I think it is something new, I have never tried one. I also noticed they have a perrenial bananna tree that comes back in zones that drop below freezing. The fruit is not edible (yet)... I have not tried it either. I know some greenhouses (floral sales as gifts) inject something into many plants and bulbs that only allows them to live so long, so the reciever of the gift, has to buy another plant because they feel guilty about killing it. Kind of the same way they inject dyes and acids to make cut flowers last longer. (trade secrets)
D

I have not heard of such a tree and actually it sounds like it must be the result of grafting different branches onto a tree. Interesting. I don't think the fruit would be any different that what you are used to.

As for the banana I'm not surprised. Did you know that there has been research into using bananas to make vaccines? Genetic engineering is used to create bananas that have the immunogens already in them. The idea is then that these can be used to get vaccines to children in devloping countries where it is otherwise hard to produce/ship/store them. There are lots of issues surrounding this approach and I have not heard of it going forward into application for humans, but nevertheless the research is interesting and has been breakthrough in biotechnology.

cheers,
lunamoth
 
Bandit said:
Interesting lunamoth:)

I mean, they have trees where you can get grapefruit, orange and lemon all off of one tree. I think it is something new, I have never tried one. I also noticed they have a perrenial bananna tree that comes back in zones that drop below freezing. The fruit is not edible (yet)... I have not tried it either. I know some greenhouses (floral sales as gifts) inject something into many plants and bulbs that only allows them to live so long, so the reciever of the gift, has to buy another plant because they feel guilty about killing it. Kind of the same way they inject dyes and acids to make cut flowers last longer. (trade secrets)
D

I have not heard of such a tree and actually it sounds like it must be the result of grafting different branches onto a tree. Interesting. I don't think the fruit would be any different than what you are used to.

As for the banana I'm not surprised. Did you know that there has been research into using bananas to make vaccines? Genetic engineering is used to create bananas that have the immunogens already in them. The idea is then that these can be used to get vaccines to children in devloping countries where it is otherwise hard to produce/ship/store them. There are lots of issues surrounding this approach and I have not heard of it going forward into application for humans, but nevertheless the research is interesting and has been breakthrough in biotechnology.

cheers,
lunamoth
 
Kindest Regards, lunamoth!

Thank you for your most interesting contribution!
lunamoth said:
I don't think it is a scanning device but it is a method like DNA fingerprinting. It would require extracting DNA from all the different species and then using RFLP (restriction fragment polymorphism) or PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to see whether species that look similar are also similar at the DNA level (don't worry about the preceding jargon :) these are just techiniques for "seeing" the differences in DNA sequence). Plus, the extent of differences between the DNA sequences would relate to how diveregent different species are and so could help work out evolutionary trees better than going on morphological differences.

I think the reference to Noah's Ark is just saying that in a small place there will be representations of all living organisms.

At this time it is impossible to recreate an organism from a tiny sample of DNA but hey it wasn't so long ago that it was that said cloning of animals and humans would be impossible. Jurassic Park, here we come :) .

Thank you as well for the simplified explanation. I didn't know the jargon, but it seems I ran across some of this in looking at the prehistoric man stuff, especially the hybrid child, and interestingly the charting used does have a great similarity with barcodes. I suspect this may be where the idea comes from in the piece you submitted. I think you are on target with the "Noah's Ark" comment. As for recreating life, that remains yet to be seen. I do think this project will be very valuable in demonstrating just how closely and in what manners all life on the planet is inter-connected. Thanks again! :D
 
lunamoth said:
I have not heard of such a tree and actually it sounds like it must be the result of grafting different branches onto a tree. Interesting. I don't think the fruit would be any different than what you are used to.

As for the banana I'm not surprised. Did you know that there has been research into using bananas to make vaccines? Genetic engineering is used to create bananas that have the immunogens already in them. The idea is then that these can be used to get vaccines to children in devloping countries where it is otherwise hard to produce/ship/store them. There are lots of issues surrounding this approach and I have not heard of it going forward into application for humans, but nevertheless the research is interesting and has been breakthrough in biotechnology.

cheers,
lunamoth
I think the fruit trees are either two trunks grown together or engrafted like you say. They have done it with pear and apple too. LOL
That is cool. I am glad the bananna can be used for vaccines. They are easy to grow and fruit comes on pretty fast. So maybe that is why they made one for the cold zones.

I wish I knew how to extract rose hips and Enchincea. I sure have enough around here.

But I can just see it now. Jurasic Park at Noahs Ark for sure. Or the man eating BLOB after Dr. Jekyl gets in there.:D

BTW-I know the guy personally who did this with the poinsettia. Cleason is the name. He made the first pink poinsetta and marbeled poinsettias from red and white ones.
I try to stay up with the 'NEW' plant of the year, but now there are so many every year, it is getting harder.
 
i've got one of them there "grafted" trees in my garden producing 5 different fruits on it... and they taste exactly like they should, only better, cause they're in my back yard... what can i say... the earth just tastes better there... well... at least for *me* it does :)


actually... grafting is a really neat thing that i learned about way back when and i've only recently been able to try it for myself... quite interesting i must say.
 
Hi Jt3--thanks for the greeting!

Bandit--so gardening is a hobby for you???

Vaj--yeah, grafting is an ancient technology and also very cool. I hope to get back to gardening once my girls gbet a little bigger. Very hard to work in the yard while watching little ones. My father loves to grow fruit trees, but not tropicals like citrus since he is in NY :) . Tragically he has been cursed with soil that appears to be very bad for fruit trees, no matter how he tries to amend it.

cheers,
lunamoth
 
Bandit--so gardening is a hobby for you???
Yah, You can call me a peasant.;)
I think I am just in awe at the timing of seasons, the hundreds of varieties of one species, different structure and there systems. But I have a short story to share.

A few years ago I was hit with 4 deaths one right after the other. I accused God for taking those people away from me. But it was in that experience that I began to see God in everything.
I no longer called nature, just nature.

I gained a very high respect and pleasure in the earth, even the poison ivy and dangerous species...the food and natural cures that grow from the earth.
I plant and grow a lot from seed, then say, "Come look at my Colorado Spruce."
Right?
And I kid with the greenhouses and local gardners.
I should be in the business, that is how much I love it.

BUt that year was different.
What really hit home was, None of this is mine. It was all given to me, including the people in my life. I realized the beauty of the earth was not just mine, but the thrill that God gets out of seeing me take pleasure in it.
The tulip and lilly pop up and are gone before I can hold it. The tomatoes ripen faster than I can eat them.

So God gave me all these things. I surley must give Him the thanks and praise. Even when He takes the people back home to be with Him, or something does not grow right in the earth... for it is all just temporary and the earth and the people are His.:)
That was not an easy thing for me to finally see and accept.
 
lunamoth said:
Vaj--yeah, grafting is an ancient technology and also very cool. I hope to get back to gardening once my girls gbet a little bigger. Very hard to work in the yard while watching little ones. My father loves to grow fruit trees, but not tropicals like citrus since he is in NY :) . Tragically he has been cursed with soil that appears to be very bad for fruit trees, no matter how he tries to amend it.

cheers,
lunamoth
well... i've got one word for him.. "honeycrisp". they are a variety of apple that can grow in NY and, in my view, it is the bestest apple that has ever existed! i really can't describe how amazing they are.

if you have the chance at a local produce store, next fall (limited harvest time, don't ya know) i would highly encourage you to pick one up. they are pricy, about $3 a pound and the fruit is upwards of one pound each. yes.. one pound apples that are like.. well... honey and crisp and light and delicious and... and...
 
I heard the barcoding project was short of money and would have to barcode itself...

What is the point of such classifications? Again, we seem to be trying to force everything into a valid description. If we found something new, we would label it as 'primarily x', completely ignoring the fact that it was not 'mainly' or 'exactly'.
 
Vajradhara said:
well... i've got one word for him.. "honeycrisp". they are a variety of apple that can grow in NY and, in my view, it is the bestest apple that has ever existed! i really can't describe how amazing they are.

if you have the chance at a local produce store, next fall (limited harvest time, don't ya know) i would highly encourage you to pick one up. they are pricy, about $3 a pound and the fruit is upwards of one pound each. yes.. one pound apples that are like.. well... honey and crisp and light and delicious and... and...


Oh, I know about apples and NY. And people usually associate apples with Washington or some such nonsense. ;) But I will look for honeycrisp--sounds delicious. I like my apples on the tart side, and very crisp.

Well, this certainly has been an enjoyable thread derailment. How much more before we get moved to the Lounge? :)
 
mahogan said:
I heard the barcoding project was short of money and would have to barcode itself...

What is the point of such classifications? Again, we seem to be trying to force everything into a valid description. If we found something new, we would label it as 'primarily x', completely ignoring the fact that it was not 'mainly' or 'exactly'.

Hello mahogan, good to *see* you again.

Well, I admit that to me it does not sound like the most exciting research to be sure. However, your question makes me ask, what is the point of studying fossils and dinosuars, what is the point of space exploration, what is the point of archeaology and the study of dead civilizations? And so on.

Many areas of research do not have ready applications as a goal and I would say that this is a good thing. If we only investigate things we can forsee useful applications for we will severerly limit our potential for learning. Serendiptity is the mother of many useful inventions and ideas.

We are curious creatures and curious creatures. :)

lunamoth
 
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