This type of identification doesn’t actually use a barcode, but it is a concept inspired by barcodes. Just as the unique pattern of bars in a barcode identifies each consumer product, a “DNA barcode” is a unique pattern of DNA sequence that identifies each living thing. Short DNA barcodes, about 700 nucleotides (link) in length, can be quickly compared against a database.
Baa-coding (barcoding) DNA systems are used to identify species, like items in the supermarket.
The system uses a “DNA barcode reader”. A sample containing DNA – for example, a length of whisker – is inserted into the device, which detects the sequence of bases in a specific gene segment. The sequence is compared with the “DNA barcodes” stored in a computer database and, if found, the system responds with the specimen’s name, photograph and description.