29. May 2012 23:22
Genetic technologies are increasingly useful for understanding and protecting biodiversity, but they can also drain limited resources and some have the very real potential to do harm.
The new issue of GeneWatch magazine, now available online, brings together a diverse group of experts from the American Museum of Natural History and San Diego Zoo to the Max Planck Institute to explore varying technologies that impact the biodiversity of our planet's animal life.
Wildlife gene banks provide researchers with samples to conduct genetic studies on endangered and even extinct species, and genome sequencing provides new insights into what makes a species tick. Building reference libraries of DNA sequences allow scientists and conservationists to identify a species based on a tiny biological sample and protect against the international trade in endangered species and their products. However, the use of genetically modified animals in an uncertain regulatory environment, can have serious consequences for the ecosystem. Certainly no technology can solve large scale extinction trends on its own.
The issue also includes an exclusive interview with ACLU Attorney Sandra Park on developments in the Myriad gene patent case and the latest updates on forensic DNA databases.
Try GeneWatch for free online now at www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org.