In 2009, high school students found novel DNA barcode types in American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) in New York City (DNAHouse). Hoping to learn more about this feared and despised yet ineradicable urban denizen, we are starting a National Cockroach Project. A quick summary so far:
Why Genetic diversity is a window into evolution and patterns of migration. American cockroaches originated in Africa and hitchhiked around the world on commercial goods. This project asks:
- Do American cockroaches differ genetically between cities?
- Do US genetic types match those in other parts of the world?
- Are there genetic types that represent undiscovered look-alike species?
How To participate, collect a cockroach!
What you need
- American cockroach (dead)
- Specimen label with collection location, date
- Mailing materials (form with instructions on NCP home page)
What you get
- Thrill of scientific discovery using DNA
- Cool, icky topic to talk about with friends
- DNA sequences you can analyze to study evolution
For more information including how to track down and identify an American cockroach, see NCP home page. I hope you will find this project fun and participate in the crowd-sourced collection effort!
This entry was posted on Friday, December 14th, 2012 at 3:39 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.