DNA sequencing of insect soup shows biodiversity

By on August 7, 2013
Image credit: whologwhy, via Flickr

Image credit: whologwhy, via Flickr

Researchers in England devised a new method for monitoring biodiversity with an insect soup and low cost DNA sequencing, according to a University of East Anglia press release.

Douglas Yu, a biology professor and the lead researcher for the study, said analyzing a few hundred ground-up bugs gives researchers equivalent data to traditional intensive methods for a fraction of the cost.

He said, compared to high quality data sets analyzing 55,000 arthropods and birds, sequencing bug juice was just as effective.

The researchers use a process called metabarcoding to identify bugs and biodiversity of an environment.

The measurement could eventually be established as a low cost, low impact way to understand the biodiversity of a system through some of its smallest creatures.

Image credit: whologwhy, via Flickr

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