Innovative Lab in a Box to Fight Wildlife Crime

Sometimes it seems as if the good people out there are losing the fight against wildlife crime, but thanks to science, they will now be one step closer to winning the battle.

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The Lab-In-A-Box, launched at the Kruger National Park, is a step in the right direction.

It’s basically a portable laboratory that will help park rangers, police and border officials detect whether any plant or animal species they come across is endangered.

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This miniature lab can identify species within a few short hours and not the usual week it takes in a proper lab.

Since 2015, the DNA of thousands of species has been loaded onto the system. South Africa supplied around 500 samples of invasive species to help keep out anything not wanted here. The University of Johannesburg’s Africa Centre for DNA Barcoding and the South African National Biodiversity Institute are playing a big role in this.

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