Thursday, 05 Nov, 2009 Science

Researchers Hope to Create Genetic Zoo With 10,000 Species


An international group of scientists will gather a collection of DNA samples taken from more than 10,000 animal species. According to the researchers, their project, called "Genome 10K," will be able to provide important clues on the evolution of vertebrates.

Initially the idea to launch such a project was suggested in April 2009 at the University of California at Santa Cruz. The team of 70 researchers will collect DNA samples from animals kept in different zoos, museums and universities around the globe. The current list of all vertebrates species collected by the researchers can be found in an online database available here.

It is worth mentioning that launching a similar project was impossible a few years ago. Initially the cost of the project was estimated at $1 billion, but over the past ten years the price has considerably dropped, reports Discovery News. The list of animals selected by the team of researchers includes a wide range of mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and fish. Most of the animal species are critically endangered and some event went extinct.

With the DNA sequences of each animal, the team will be able to get a better idea of the genetic heritage of each species. In addition, the collected information could help preserve threatened species, offering new clues regarding the reactions of different animals to various factors, including climate change and pollution. The most difficult part of the project is not the gathering of DNA samples, but raising enough money to execute the program.

Posted by Maxriter

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