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Scant amounts of DNA reveal conservation clues

Now, researchers at Stanford and the National Centre for Biological Sciences at India’s Tata Institute of Fundamental Research have developed a method for extracting genetic clues quickly and cheaply from degraded and left-behind materials, such as feces, skin or saliva, and from food products suspected of containing endangered animals.

Their proof of concept – outlined April 10 in Methods in Ecology and Evolution – could revolutionize conservation approaches and policies worldwide, the researchers said.