DNA database to combat poaching?

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Saturday, 30th September 2017

‘ForCyt’ DNA database of wildlife species

Ahlersa, N., Creecyb, J., Frankhamc, G., Johnsonc, R.N., Kotzed, A., Linacree, A., McEwingf, R., Mwaled, M., Rovie-Ryang, J.J., Sitamg, F., Websterh, L.M.I.

Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series

Abstract

Wildlife crime continues unabated contributing to the extinction or near extinction of many plant and animal species. Species identification is a key tool in the enforcement of national legislation. If no morphology exists, comparison of DNA sequences generated from a mitochondrial gene are compared to those on a reference database, commonly GenBank. Sequences up-loaded to GenBank are unregulated and can lead to uncertainty with the adequacy of this DNA sequence repository for identification in a forensic context. We propose the establishment of ForCyt as a fully-regulated database of species that are commonly encountered in forensic investigations. The establishment of ForCyt will allow confidence in future species identification; something that is an absolute requirement to ensure high quality forensic science.

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