$5bn project to map DNA of every animal, plant and fungus

Christopher Davidson
November 3, 2018

EBP, as reported by Reuters and relaying the News Agency, is expected to cost $ 4.7 billion and "will eventually create a new foundation for biology to boost solutions to preserve biodiversity and sustainable human societies "Said Harris Liuin, a professor at the University of California at the U.S. and president of the EBP". In Britain, genome sequences for red and grey squirrels are among those that will be added to the vast new database.

Across the globe, the genomes of more than 1.5 million species will be recorded. "Having the roadmap, the blueprints for all living species of eukaryotes will be a tremendous resource for new discoveries, understanding the rules of life, how evolution works, new approaches for the conservation of rare and endangered species, and provide new resources for researchers in agricultural and medical fields".

The EBP has made extraordinary progress in the past year leading up to the official launch. It is expected that additional partner institutions, organisations and communities will join as the project progresses. The volume of biological data to be gathered is expected to be "scaled" - more than what data is gathered from Twitter, YouTube or the entire astronomy. The Earth Biogenome Project is a global collaboration created to avoid duplication of research and to make all genome data inter-operable and open for public use.

If Noah had today's genome sequencers he would have built a smaller ark - and filled it with hard drives.

Researchers at Harvard University have used genetic sequencing to map the genome of the woolly mammoth in the hope it could be resurrected.

This plan will include major research efforts across the world, including the U.S. program to find the Genetic Code sequence and the 66,000 vertebrate, a Chinese program to find the 10,000 plant genome sequence and the Global Ant Genomes Alliance, which aims to find the sequence of approximately 200 antimicrobial genomes.

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The Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge has committed to sequencing the genomes of all 66,000 United Kingdom species and will act as a hub for the UK's contributions toward the ambitious project.

Other institutions and universities that are participating in the attempt are the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Gardens, the Museums of London and Edinburgh University - and all will be coordinated from Cambridge.

The UKs effort, known as the Darwin Tree of Life Project, officially launched today in London and is estimated to cost approximately £100 million over the first five years.

It could also help bring them back from the dead if they do go extinct. "As scientists, we all realise we desperately need to catalogue life on our fragile planet now".

Sir Jim Smith, director of science at Wellcome, said: "Try as a I might I can't think of a more exciting, more relevant, more timely or more internationally inspirational project, or one that will create such a legacy for scientists in the future. From nature we shall gain insights into how to develop new treatments for infectious diseases, identify drugs to slow ageing, generate new approaches to feeding the world or create new bio materials".

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