What is DNA Barcoding?
DNA Barcoding is a technique that uses a short DNA sequence from a standardized and agreed-upon position in the genome as a molecular diagnostic for species-level identification. DNA barcode sequences are very short relative to the entire genome and they can be obtained reasonably quickly and cheaply.
It was proposed in 2003 by Paul Hebert a researcher at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. In the last nine years it developed from a hotly debated idea into a widely recognized and used tool in research and applied science.
Why a blog?
Well, this is not the first blog on DNA Barcoding. A few colleagues have been writing about new developments and discoveries over the last couple of years. The most prominent one by Mark Stoeckle from the Rockefeller University in New York went on hiatus. At least that's what I assume as the last post is from January 2012. Too bad, as it was always very interesting and entertaining to follow Mark's thoughts.
However, DNA Barcoding has now matured and deserves all attention it can possibly get. Another blog won't hurt!
Why not? I am involved in DNA Barcoding research since 2005 and I am working for over 6 years at the very place it has been developed. Being at the cutting edge of DNA Barcoding science for some time comes with some advantages and I am certainly in a good position to find the most newsworthy information for interested readers. I will also try to find a good balance between scientific and non-scientific contributions as I hope that my audience will not consist of DNA Barcoding scientists alone although I would be more than happy to welcome all those friends here.
Gene Watch - Council for Responsible Genetics 2012