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Q&A: Unique Identifiers in Animal DNA

Unique Identifiers in Animal DNA Photo Credit Victoria Roberts Q. Are humans the only creatures with individual DNA fingerprints? What about other species?
A. Individual members of many species also have unique and identifiable genetic profiles. As with human beings, a large number of variations in a relatively short sequence of DNA can make it possible to identify an individual and to distinguish that animal from other members of the species.
DNA fingerprinting is commercially available for dogs, for example, for purposes like identifying a lost or stolen pet or tracing a pedigree.
The approach is also used in wildlife research. It can determine whether an isolated population of wild birds has become too inbred for survival, for instance, so that some can be moved elsewhere.
Scientists at the University of Arizona and elsewhere also have turned to genetic fingerprinting to identify individual animals that have been poached or illegally trafficked, as well as to determine where importe..

Gary Lincoff, 75, Dies; Spread the Joy of Mushrooms Far and Wide

Gary Lincoff, 75, Dies; Spread the Joy of Mushrooms Far and Wide Photo The mycologist Gary Lincoff pointed out a resinous polypore fungus in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx on a mushroom foray in 2011. Credit Alan Zale for The New York Times Gary Lincoff, a self-taught mycologist whose contagious enthusiasm turned him into a pied piper of mushrooms, died on March 16 in Manhattan. He was 75.
His family said he died after a stroke.
Mr. Lincoff, a philosophy major and law-school dropout, wrote a field guide to North American mushrooms that sold more than a half-million copies. He led mushroom hunts as far afield as Siberia, India and the Amazon and as near to his home as Central Park, two blocks away, where over the course of decades he counted more than 400 species.
Mr. Lincoff taught for more than 40 years at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and instructed Martha Stewart on dredging puffballs in panko bread crumbs to bring out their flavor. He wrote peer-reviewed journal articl..

Anbang Was Seized by China. Now, It Has a Deal for You.

Supported by Business Day Anbang Was Seized by China. Now, It Has a Deal for You. Photo Anbang offices in Beijing. In recent years, investors have poured money into wealth management products offered by companies like Anbang that enabled the companies to go on buying binges around the world. Credit Jason Lee/Reuters BEIJING — Less than a month after it was seized by the Chinese government, Anbang Insurance Group, the giant conglomerate, is once again offering small investors “you snooze, you lose” investment opportunities — your money back, guaranteed.
Sold like stocks or bonds in bank branches around China, the products carry names like Anbang Abundant Stability No. 10, suggesting the investments are conservative. They are anything but.
In the past, Anbang has used the money it raised from those products to help pay for risky deals like the purchase of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York and other flashy properties around the world. The approach saddled the company with big deb..

The Last Great Clothing Store

The Last Great Clothing Store
Open since 1938, Boyds fights back against e-commerce and the rise of the Supreme hoodie, with extra-personal service and fancy new designer labels.

PHILADELPHIA — In the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s here, as in many big cities, there were dozens of independent men’s clothing stores selling tailored suits, sport coats, dress shirts and “furnishings” (socks, ties, pocket squares) to dapper professionals. Among these were the Arrow Store, Morevilles, Diamonds, Irving’s and Jacob Reed’s Sons. Today, professionals no longer need be dapper, and only one store from that period remains in business: Boyds. Like the Liberty Bell and the stone Rocky Steps, Boyds is a local landmark, and one equally impervious to the shifting seasons.
For 80 years, the family-owned business has outfitted lawyers, bankers, doctors, politicians and famous athletes, with all-American brands like Hickey-Freeman, groovy European labels like Pierre Cardin and Tiger of Sweden and lately high-end ..

Doctors: You’ve Detailed Your Last Wishes, but Doctors May Not See Them

Supported by Well | Live You’ve Detailed Your Last Wishes, but Doctors May Not See Them Photo Credit Stuart Bradford This is not how it was supposed to happen.
I was working overnight when my pager sounded, alerting me to an admission to the intensive care unit. I logged on to the computer and clicked on the patient’s chart, scanning the notes that tracked his decline. First there was a cancer diagnosis, too far gone for cure, then surgery, recurrence, surgery, and finally, a discharge home. The elderly man had been found there earlier that evening, pale, feverish and too confused to communicate.
Now he was in the emergency department, his breaths ragged. “There’s no family around. We’re probably going to have to intubate,” the emergency room doctor told me when I called him to learn more about the patient. I sighed, wondering what this man would have wanted, if only he could tell us.
I was surprised when, a few seconds after I hung up the phone, one of the doctors in training tap..