Evolution in action? New York “Mystery Cockroach” may be new species…

Filed in Gather Health Essential by on December 28, 2009 0 Comments

…or not. Two teenage scientists, participating in a “Genetic Barcoding” experiment, have identified a possible new species of American Cockroach.  It is speculated that this animal, which analysts say exhibits a 4% genetic difference from the American cockroach, may be a genetically modified American cockroach… in essence a new species home-grown in New York City. A Rockefeller University Professor stated:

“The cockroach is genetically modified. Species don’t differ more than one percent, this cockroach is four percent different, which suggests it is a new species of cockroach,” Professor Mark Stoeckle, an expert on genomics and DNA barcoding at Rockefeller University, told AFP.”

Wel-l-l-l-l… mebbe so.  Actually, I’d REALLY like to see proof that it’s so.  However, I’m wondering if it might just be a newly IDENTIFIED species, an important find in its own right, but a tad less dramatic than a newly DEVELOPED species.  Besides, does one mutated individual a new species make?  Actually, no.  If there is no breeding population, all you have is a mutated individual.  If it IS, of course, ALL new species identified are important from a purely science perspective, but we need more than this.  You can’t just make claims like this without some further corroboration.

C’mon, all you New Yorkers, let’s get out there and capture a few hundred thousand cockroaches for genetic sampling.  How many new species d’you reckon there are in that town anyway?

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