@article { NPB1613, title = {Remote microscopy: a success story in Australian and New Zealand plant biosecurity}, journal = {Australian Journal of Entomology}, year = {2011}, abstract = {

Rapid and accurate identification of organisms is crucial to many research and applied outcomes. Diagnostics is a critical first step in determining the significance of suspected biosecurity threats posed by emergency plant pests and other invasive pests and pathogens.

Traditionally, the biological specimens needing identification are physically mailed to a dispersed community of taxonomic experts for determination. While effective, this is an expensive, labour-intensive and slow process, often taking days to receive a confirmed identification.

Remote microscopy creates virtual, real-time networks of experts using web-based cameras mounted on microscopes that allow interactive access to real-time images of scientific specimens from anywhere in the world via the Internet.

Trials conducted by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Biosecurity New Zealand to test the efficacy of remote microscopy in plant quarantine settings showed that in Australia a diagnosis to a level at which realistic biosecurity decisions could be made occurred on 77% of occasions, while in New Zealand high impact exotic pest status was determined during 92% of the diagnostic events, and regulatory status was determined during 96% of events. These positive results are leading towards the expansion of remote microscopy throughout Australia, New Zealand and into South-East Asia, as well as widening its role as part of online diagnostic frameworks.

}, author = {Michael Thompson and Anita Lyons and Lalith Kumarasinghe and Darren R Peck and Gary Kong} }