Barcoding Nature: Shifting Cultures of Taxonomy in an Age of by Claire Waterton

By Claire Waterton

DNA Barcoding has been promoted on account that 2003 as a brand new, quick, electronic genomics-based technique of making a choice on typical species in keeping with the concept a small ordinary fragment of any organism’s genome (a so-called ‘micro-genome’) can faithfully determine and support to categorise each species on this planet. the phobia that species have gotten extinct prior to they've got ever been recognized fuels barcoders, and the rate, scope, economic system and ‘user-friendliness’ claimed for DNA barcoding, as a part of the bigger ferment round the ‘genomics revolution’, has additionally inspired can provide that it could possibly encourage humanity to opposite its biodiversity-destructive habits.

This e-book relies on six years of ethnographic examine on altering practices within the identity and category of usual species. expert either by way of technology and expertise reviews (STS) and the anthropology of technology, the authors examine DNA barcoding within the context of a feeling of challenge – bearing on international biodiversity loss, but in addition the felt inadequacy of taxonomic technological know-how to handle such loss. The authors chart the categorical alterations that this innovation is propelling within the gathering, organizing, interpreting, and archiving of organic specimens and biodiversity facts. As they accomplish that they spotlight the various questions, ambiguities and contradictions that accompany the search to create a genomics-based environmental technoscience devoted to biodiversity safeguard. They ask what it could suggest to recognize ambiguity, contradiction, and extra extra publicly as a constitutive a part of this and different genomic technosciences.

Barcoding Nature might be of curiosity to scholars and students of sociology of technology, technology and know-how experiences, politics of our environment, genomics and post-genomics, philosophy and heritage of biology, and the anthropology of science.

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Extra info for Barcoding Nature: Shifting Cultures of Taxonomy in an Age of Biodiversity Loss

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Third, using CO1 analysis, the variation that can be detected between different species is routinely found to be more marked than the variation within the same species. Therefore barcoding, based upon CO1 analysis, establishes a clear signal of species difference and does not cloud species identification with signals of intra-species difference. Plants and other organisms It was realized in the early 2000s that the CO1 barcode is not effective for identifying plants or fungi. The genomes of bacteria, viruses and protists have also posed a number of complications for the use of the CO1 barcode and taxonomists and DNA barcoders continue to discuss whether CO1 or other gene regions should be used for barcoding these organisms.

Biodiversity is in crisis, and taxonomy is now in vogue again. This newfound enthusiasm may well lead to upheavals in the nature of taxonomy itself. (Mallet and Willmott 2003: 57) In our introductory chapter we noted a feeling of failure infecting both the biodiversity and taxonomic sciences, a sense that grew from early concerns articulated in the 1980s to a situation widely acknowledged as a crisis by the early 2000s (Wilson 1985, 1992; Wheeler and Cracraft 1996; House of Lords 1992, 2002; Royal Society 2003).

And Hebert et al. built cumulatively on one another’s suggestions in a very short period of time, and stood out from the more general taxonomic literature due to the unusual boldness of their vision, their global scope and their universalizing ambition. Each was portrayed as ‘the’ answer, an innovation and a grand vision, in response to the taxonomic and biodiversity crises. As all taxonomists recognized, the burst of ideas and debates seen DNA barcoding 37 in this part of the scientific literature from around 2002 onwards did not come from nowhere.

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