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Biotech Earth Science

Carrion Flies Used To Find New Species 51

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the delightfully-festering dept.
sciencehabit writes "If carrion flies have one enviable talent, it's finding animal carcasses in the wilderness, something they surpass even the most systematic and intrepid field biologists at doing. Now, researchers may be able to capitalize on the insects' gruesome gift to survey biodiversity. Capture the flies, a new study shows, and DNA from their last meals will tell you which animals live in the area. In addition to scanning an area's biodiversity, the technique has the potential to reveal species that are new to science."
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Carrion Flies Used To Find New Species

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  • People Finding (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AaronLS (1804210) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @01:54PM (#42534215)

    I wonder if this technique could be used with mosquitoes to find people. I.e. remember them verifying Bin Laden's location using DNA collected from a fake inoculation campaign(I think that was it). Instead this wouldn't require direct contact with someone, but instead capturing local mosquitoes.

    Could have both nefarious and benevolent applications.

    Only thing is mosquitoes don't travel very far. Which is bad in that you have to travel around and collect mosquitoes from lots of areas, and good in that when you find a match you have a pretty good idea how close you are.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser