A new "genomic zoo" has launched, with the goal of sequencing the genomes of 10,000 vertebrate species. The project aims to help researchers understand recent and rapid adaptive changes among the species. It could also allow predictions of how certain species might respond to climate change, pollution, new diseases and competitors.
The Genome 10K Project will scour zoos, museums and universities worldwide for thousands of specimens. An international coalition of more than 68 scientists has outlined their plans in a paper that will appear tomorrow in the Journal of Heredity.
Freezing genetic samples from plant and animal species is all the rage these days, with projects ranging from San Diego's Frozen Zoo to the UK's Frozen Ark. But New York's American Museum of Natural History recently scored a scientific coup when the U.S. National Park Service signed an agreement to store endangered species samples in the museum's underground lab, which will be one of the largest such repositories in the country.