"Imagine going for a walk and spotting a wild flower. Its beauty and fragrance delight you but the name eludes you. A few seconds, and the read-out tells you that you're looking at a pyramidal orchid. Satisfied, you continue on your way.
Sound far-fetched? Not at all. Scientists are currently gathering a DNA barcode for every species of plant and animal on the planet. It won't be long before everyone, from experts to amateurs, will be able to scan the world's flora and fauna as if they were checking out groceries at a supermarket, to look up or confirm their identities."