Thursday, July 3, 2014

New issue of the barcode bulletin

We've just released a new issue of the iBOL newsletter 'Barcode Bulletin' and if you have seen previous issues you might be able to tell from the image on the left that we made a few changes in the layout. A first victim of these changes was the text I wrote for the editorial because it had to be shortened to fit. I thought my blog might be a good venue to present the editorial long version in order to promote the new issue:

Welcome to the 14th issue of the Barcode Bulletin.

For the last thirteen issues the appearance of this newsletter hasn’t changed much. After more than four years we thought it is time for a facelift. You will notice not only a change in layout in favour of a more magazine look and feel but also the introduction of topical sections such as applications, research, education and more. This will allow readers to pick articles that they are most interested in for a first read and browse through the remaining ones. Each issue will also include a feature article we think will appeal to all our readers by highlighting special events or discoveries. For this issue we chose a report on a recent BioBlitz as these intense periods of biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area become more and more popular, and more frequently incorporate DNA barcoding in the program. 

DNA barcoding provides an outstanding basis for science instruction because it bridges disciplines and its workflows are simple enough that everyone can participate in various aspects of the analytical chain from specimen collection to data interpretation. One more reason to also include a section on the growing movement of DIY barcoding, this week with an article on mysterious meat.

A lot of changes that come with this issue but most importantly what hasn't changed is the high quality of contributions by our peers. Let’s not forget, most articles are written by researchers or enthusiasts, and not by professional writers, which makes our newsletter an even more impressive product. I’d like to use the opportunity to thank all of our contributors over the last years. Most of the success of the Barcode Bulletin is owed it to their efforts.

Other stories in this issue introduce you to sweeteners, orchid snacks, provides insight into several community and diversity assessments, and some grade 6 students talk about their barcoding experience. We hope you like the new appearance of our Barcode Bulletin as much as we do.

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