Wednesday, April 29, 2009

DNA barcoding mosquitoes to fight disease

"DNA barcoding" will be used in Africa to help identify and track the mosquito species that spread the worm larvae causing lymphatic filariasis (LF), commonly known as elephantiasis. This may lead to a minimized and more accurately-targeted application of insecticides.

The technology was kicked into high gear with the publication of "Barcoding animal life: cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 divergences among closely related species" in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (Biological Sciences) by P.D.N. Hebert, S. Ratnasingham and J.R. deWaard of the University of Guelph in 2003.

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