Rapid DNA sequencing helping endangered elephants

Getting mammoth samples are just a byproduct

Edinburgh scientists discover mammoth secret in ivory DNA
[Via BBC News – Science & Environment]

Researchers at Edinburgh Zoo have found woolly mammoth DNA inside ivory trinkets from the illegal trade.


William Gibson famously said “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” Well it is getting more distributed every day.

DNA sequencing technology has dispersed so far that a single lab in Cambodia can be used to track the illicit elephant tusk trade. And even pick up a few mammoth samples.

No one was thinking of this when the human genome was sequenced almost 20 years ago. Where will the technology be in another 20?

Image: Eric Kilby


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