Flogging a dead horse: genetics and the UK horsemeat scandal

Wellcome Trust Blog

The UK has been up in arms about the horsemeat scandal in recent weeks. But detecting horsemeat through genetics is harder than you think, writes Mark Jobling.

We may live in a global village, and do our research in multinational departments, but local cultural traditions still count. A chilly October morning in the bleak English Midlands, and a PhD student newly arrived from Italy (let’s call her Giovanna) takes a cigarette break outside our building. In the camaraderie of smokers, she strikes up a conversation with Keith, who is taking a rest from the autoclaving. “Where can I find horse?”, she asks. Processing this odd question, via her foreign-ness, he pictures Leicester race-course, and wonders about country riding clubs. But he is wide of the mark. Giovanna’s thoughts are in the kitchen, and when Keith realizes this, the conversation stops short.

For the British (and for most of the English-speaking world)…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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