from the travesty-of-the-seas dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that Kate Stoeckle and Louisa Strauss, who graduated this year from the Trinity School in Manhattan, took on a freelance science project to check 60 samples of seafood using a simplified genetic fingerprinting technique called DNA Bar Coding to see whether the fish New Yorkers buy is what they think they are getting, and found that one-fourth of the fish samples with identifiable DNA were mislabeled: A piece of sushi sold as the luxury treat white tuna turned out to be Mozambique tilapia, a much cheaper fish that is often raised by farming. Roe supposedly from flying fish was actually from smelt." (More below.)
"Seven of nine samples that were called red snapper were mislabeled, and they turned out to be anything from Atlantic cod to Acadian redfish, an endangered species. The project began over dinner with Stoeckle's father, a scientist and early proponent of the use of DNA bar codings. Instead of sequencing the entire genome, bar coders examine a single gene. Dr. Stoeckle said he was excited to see the technology used in a new way and compared the technique to GPS. 'The smaller and cheaper you make something,' he said, 'the more uses it has.'"
"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts
most subtly on the human will."
-- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"