Scientists working on animal genomes

Scientists working on animal genomes

December 5th, 2010 by Santa Cruz Sentinel in Local Regional News

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The Genome 10K Project, which began as a meeting of scientists on the University of California-Santa Cruz campus in April 2009, has announced plans to sequence the genomes of 101 vertebrate species within the next two years.

It is the first step in a project that, as the name implies, eventually plans to sequence the genomes of 10,000 species by 2015.

"About three years ago, we realized that genome sequencing technology was moving so fast that it had become economically feasible to sequence all vertebrate species," said David Haussler, Genome 10K co-founder and a professor of biomolecular engineering in the Baskin School of Engineering at UCSC. "It is an unbelievable scientific opportunity to know how DNA evolved in all of these species. We invited all the people who had been studying and had collections of tissue samples frozen and stored away, and we said 'It's time to get those out of the freezer and start sequencing DNA.' "

The Genome 10K Project is an international effort to gather specimens of thousands of animals from zoos, museums and university collections across the world, and then sequence the genome of each species to unveil the evolution of its genetic code.