Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Using DNA barcoding to fight elephantitis

Use of DNA barcoding may be paramount to fighting lymphatic filariasis (LF), a parasite that has disfigured more than 40 million people worldwide and threatens 1 billion more across 80 countries. Researchers at the University of Ghana are spearheading the usage of DNA barcodes to map the various mosquito species spreading LF. Barcoding of a species is done by extracting a succinct DNA sequence from a specific region within the genome. This technique is especially useful since it would otherwise be very difficult to distinguish between the mosquito species; precise identification is necessary, as different mosquitoes have different transmission patters for LF. This is a promising development in LF treatment and will hopefully facilitate efforts in its elimination from West Africa.

link here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090429111240.htm

-Andrew Plan

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