DNA barcodes decode the world of soil nematodes

The research team of Professor Toshihiko Eki of the Department of Applied Chemistry and Life Science (and Research Center for Agrotechnology and Biotechnology), Toyohashi University of Technology used a next-generation sequencer ...

Which DNA is floating in the ditch?

You pour a scoop of ditch water in the DNA scanner, and voilĂ : you know exactly which plants and animals the ditch accommodates. Well, it is not that simple yet, but according to Ph.D. candidate Kevin Beentjes, we can already ...

Nanoscopic barcodes set a new science limit

Using barcodes to label and identify everyday items is as familiar as a trip to the supermarket. Imagine shrinking those barcodes a million times, from millimeter to nanometre scale, so that they could be used inside living ...

AI-powered 'electronic nose' to sniff out meat freshness

A team of scientists led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has invented an artificial olfactory system that mimics the mammalian nose to assess the freshness of meat accurately.

Genetic barcodes can ensure authentic DNA fingerprints

Engineers at Duke University and the New York University's Tandon School of Engineering have demonstrated a method for ensuring that an increasingly popular method of genetic identification called "DNA fingerprinting" remains ...

BRB-seq: The quick and cheaper future of RNA sequencing

RNA sequencing is a technique used to analyze entire genomes by looking at the expression of their genes. Today, such genome-wide expression analyses are a standard tool for genomic studies because they rely on high-throughput ...

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A barcode is an optical machine-readable representation of data, which shows data about the object to which it attaches. Originally barcodes represented data by varying the widths and spacings of parallel lines, and may be referred to as linear or 1 dimensional (1D). Later they evolved into rectangles, dots, hexagons and other geometric patterns in 2 dimensions (2D). Although 2D systems use a variety of symbols, they are generally referred to as barcodes as well. Barcodes originally were scanned by special optical scanners called barcode readers; later, scanners and interpretive software became available on devices including desktop printers and smartphones.

The first use of barcodes was to label railroad cars, but they were not commercially successful until they were used to automate supermarket checkout systems, a task for which they have become almost universal. Their use has spread to many other tasks that are generically referred to as automatic identification and data capture (AIDC). The very first scanning of the now ubiquitous Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode was on a pack of Wrigley Company chewing gum in June 1974.

Other systems have made inroads in the AIDC market, but the simplicity, universality and low cost of barcodes has limited the role of these other systems until the first decade of the 21st century, over 40 years after the introduction of the commercial barcode, with the introduction of technologies such as radio frequency identification, or RFID.

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