From Nature News, 12th April:

Chinese herbal medicines contain ingredients derived from endangered animals, toxic plants and livestock, a genetic audit has discovered. Few of these ingredients were listed on the packaging.

“There’s absolutely no honesty in the labelling of these products. What they declare is completely at odds with what’s in there,” says Dr Mike Bunce, a geneticist at Murdoch University near Perth, Australia, who led the study.

For this episode, I talk to Dr Bunce of the Ancient DNA Research Laboratory about the study, what is involved with genetic auditing and what it might mean for the health and welfare of not only humans, but endangered animals. His work revolve around using ancient DNA to study evolutionary processes and using ancient DNA profiles to investigate past biodiversity. The research his lab focuses on involves using ancient DNA as a tool to profile past biodiversity and extinction events.

This show is available on Zune, mp3 via Libsyn or iTunes. Visit – and I’d love to get your feedback at

Theme songs are “P&P” by Derek K Miller of and “Leap Second” by Milton Mermikides, of Please considering supporting the show via visiting


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