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For Immediate Release: September 27, 2010
Contact: Gina Hebert, 508-289-7725; ghebert@mbl.edu

Public Invited to Tour BIOBus at the MBL, September 29
Mobile lab part of international conference for biodiversity specialists


WOODS HOLE, MA—The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) invites the public to tour the BIOBus, a specially equipped mobile field research vehicle that travels the U.S., collecting insects and other invertebrates for DNA barcoding. The bus will be parked near the MBL’s Swope Conference Center, 5 North Street, Woods Hole and open to the public on Wednesday, September 29 from 10 AM to 4 PM.

Since 2008, the BIOBus, operated by the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, has been carrying researchers to biodiversity hotspots across North America. Hundreds of thousands of specimens representing almost 10,000 species have been collected for purposes of DNA barcoding, a taxonomic method that uses a genetic marker in an organism's DNA to identify it as belonging to a particular species the way a supermarket scanner distinguishes products using the black stripes of the Universal Product Code.

The BIOBus visit to Woods Hole is part of the 2010 TDWG Annual Conference being held this week at the MBL. TDWG is a non-profit, international, scientific and educational association whose main goal is to promote a wider and more effective circulation of information about the world's heritage of biological organisms. More than 200 bioinformatics specialists, biologists, information scientists, botanists, curators, and librarians from Germany, Finland, Brazil, Taiwan, Africa, and a host of other countries are attending the conference, which is sponsored by the Encyclopedia of Life, the MBL, the MBLWHOI Library, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Atlas of Living Australia, and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.


The MBL is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Americas.