If you listen to the (rapidly diminishing) criticisms of DNA barcoding, one you will often hear is that we don’t need it because we have keys, taxonomic experts, etc. This isn’t quite as ridiculous as the claim that barcoding saps resources from taxonomy (seeing as how it has literally moved millions of dollars out of biomedical genomics and into biodiversity research including by alpha taxonomists). But it is pretty silly when you consider just how many applications keep emerging for a technology that allows the identification of any life stage, sex, or specimen condition. Here are a couple of recent examples:
And don’t forget the series of reports of widespread market substitution in market fishes. For example, check out my friend and colleague Bob Hanner discussing this topic on a recent episode of Marketplace:
Next week, I’m off to Nairobi for the inaugural meeting of HealthBOL, of which I am international Scientific Coordinator: a project within the International Barcode of Life (iBOL) initiative focused on vectors, parasites, and pathogens.