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Bug Splatter On Your Car's Windshield Is A Treasure Trove Of Genomic Biodiversity

If you have ever taken a long road trip, the windshield of your car will inevitably be splattered with bugs by the time you arrive at your destination. Could the DNA left behind be used to estimate the diversity of insects in the region? In a study published online in Genome Research, scientists answered this question, utilizing a novel analysis pipeline that will accelerate future studies of biodiversity.

Recent advances in DNA sequencing technology are allowing researchers to investigate genomic questions of a scale and depth not previously possible. Among the fields benefiting from these new innovations is metagenomics, an approach applying DNA-sequencing technology directly to environmental samples. Scientists can now estimate biodiversity by sequencing DNA collected nearly anywhere, from extreme environments to your own skin, and the possibilities seem limitless.

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