Our Molecular Department has pioneered the development of a portable, hand-held smartphone based Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) field friendly kit for detection of environmental DNA (eDNA). Living organisms shed cells containing DNA into the environment, where it can be detected by extremely sensitive PCR testing. The kit was developed to detect the DNA of the nearly extinct Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), of which only four are known.
Watch our lead scientist, Dr Tracie Seimon discuss this cutting-edge work in this Associated Press video:
Telltale bits of DNA help track wildlife