More Genetics

In marshlands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, it's easy to hear the sharp, buzzing calls of seaside sparrows ( Ammodramus maritimus )—even if they can be hard to spot. These five-inch, brown...
Forensics is a key tool for enforcing the laws and treaties that protect marine animals. Investigators in a recent case used DNA analysis to track down and convict sea turtle poachers. All seven...
Dr. Carole Baldwin never expected to find seven new species of fish among the Starskia blennies she was studying at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. "My research team was using...
In 2003, a team of Japanese scientists analyzed the DNA of tapetails and whalefish. The results suggested that these two very different looking fishes were almost identical in one specific gene. But...
Researcher Aimee Ellison tests samples for DNA barcoding at the Gump Field Station on Moorea.
Researchers with the Smithsonian's Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) collected this sea toad, Chaunax pictus , off the coast of Honduras in 2011. The team is trying to collect sea toads from...
Dr. Mahmood Shivji of the Guy Harvey Research Institute and Save Our Seas Shark Center sampling a confiscated shark fin for DNA analysis. He can determine the species for hundreds of shark fins using...
Some fish you can fry up in the pan, no questions asked. Others require a bit of research. Case in point: the puffer fish. Commonly known as fugu, some species contain toxins more deadly than cyanide...
Dr. Demian Chapman of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at New York’s Stony Brook University explains how DNA extraction from shark fins can identify the species of shark and where the...
Students working on a marine genetics project at the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center in 2011.
If you are a bird watcher you have probably heard of the Christmas Bird Count. The first one occurred on Christmas Day in 1900 at a variety of locations throughout North America, and it has since...
Doing scientific research on a ship isn't always easy. On top of having to live and sleep on a boat on the water, you have to fit all your scientific equipment onboard—and make sure it continues...
So far, researchers have developed DNA barcodes to accurately identify 4,600 of the more than 29,000 known fish species. Atlantic cod is an economically important fisheries species. However, it's...
Good real estate is hard to find. This is as true underwater as it is on land. So when Smithsonian scientist Dr. Matthieu Leray built 18 potential homes for undersea creatures living on oyster reefs...
Starksia blennies, small coral reef fish, have been well-studied for more than 100 years. But Smithsonian scientists discovered that what were thought to be three species of the fish are actually 10...
It's illegal to hunt threatened species such as the Dusky shark, but still tens of millions of sharks are taken each year for their fins—in high demand as a delicacy in China. Inside his laboratory...
Scientists journey to the isolated island of Moorea on a quest to catalog every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers—from mountaintop to seafloor. Get up close and personal with researchers...
Dr. Carole Baldwin is Curator of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History. Read an interview with her about how she used DNA analysis and other tools to discover seven new species of fish in...
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