Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Identifying Species through Swabbing eDNA

A study was done by swabbing two dozen leaves in a tropical forest in Uganda, and it turned out to result in identifying 52 animals in that area. The swab picked up DNA from the environment shed from 52 animals. DNA is not just found inside a cell, it is found all over. So by analyzing environmental DNA, or eDNA, the species can be revealed. Another study was done at the University of Greifswald in Germany with flies. The eDNA is picked up from flies that contains DNA from dead animals and feces. This study was done with another biologist who collected eDNA from the air. Both of the results were compared. The eDNA resulted in many birds and mammals that were known to live in the park. Another researcher has been working on the same type of study and mentioned that he had bird species found in the eDNA that he hadn’t seen before. Sampling eDNA is crucial especially with biodiversity declining and seeing many more species becoming extinct. 

These studies are the answer to a new way to monitor biodiversity in any ecosystem. More than 99% of all species that have lived on Earth have gone extinct. The number of species will degrade as time goes on due to the human population. If scientists can use this information and use this type of study on a larger scale, there can be new results and findings on any species in any area. And with these results, scientists and researchers can find a way to act accordingly and help species and the ecosystem as a whole. The tools required for this study are definitely more convenient since they are only swabs compared to other devices which is another good reason why this is a more approachable technique.


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