I just love the continued coverage of the story of the students from Trinity School in New York (a high school) who do investigative DNA barcoding projects. (There is a good new story about this on the LA Times blogs at:Think that sheep’s mik cheese comes from a sheep? DNA doesn’t lie | Booster Shots | Los Angeles Times)
In the most recent example, two students, Brenda Tan and Matt Cost, did some home barcoding in collaboration with people from the AMNH and Rockefeller University.
Among their findings:
- “an invasive species of insect in a box of grapefruit from Texas”
- “what could be a new species or subspecies of New York cockroach”
- multiple mislabelled food products including (quoted from the press release, I note)
- An expensive specialty “sheep’s milk” cheese made in fact from cow’s milk;
- “Venison” dog treats made of beef;
- “Sturgeon caviar” that was really Mississippi paddlefish;
- A delicacy called “dried shark,” which proved to be freshwater Nile perch from Africa;
- A label of “frozen yellow catfish” on walking catfish, an invasive species;
- “Dried olidus” (smelt) that proved to be Japanese anchovy, an unrelated fish;
- “Caribbean red snapper” that turned out to be Malabar blood snapper, a fish from Southeast Asia.