Beth Fertig is the contributing editor for education, covering the New York City public school system for WNYC on air and online at SchoolBook.org. She has covered education in the city for more than 15 years. Beth is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. Follow her @bethfertig.
NY Teens Discover New Species of Cockroach
Monday, December 28, 2009
Two Trinity High School students have apparently discovered a new species of cockroach. Matt Cost, 18, and classmate Brenda Tan, 17, collected samples of household items for a DNA analysis project with Rockefeller University and the American Museum of Natural History. But the large dead roach they sampled turned out to be a genetic surprise.
'The bug person at the Museum of Natural History told us just by looking at it that it was a normal American cockroach,' Cost says. 'But when we compared the DNA it's four percent different from any of the other specimens on the databases.'
The teens also learned that sturgeon caviar they tested actually came from Mississippi paddlefish. The scientists they collaborated with are using what's called DNA barcoding to identify species cheaply and easily based on a snippet of genetic code.
In all, they found one in six of the 66 food items they tested had been mislabeled.