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5 de noviembre de 2009

Scientists Launch Effort To Sequence The DNA Of 10,000 Vertebrates

Scientists have an ambitious new strategy for untangling the evolutionary history of humans and their biological relatives: Create a genetic menagerie made of the DNA of more than 10,000 vertebrate species. The plan, proposed by an international consortium of scientists, is to obtain, preserve, and sequence the DNA of approximately one species for each genus of living mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.

"Understanding the evolution of the vertebrates is one of the greatest detective stories in science," said David Haussler, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). "No one has ever really known how the elephant got its trunk, or how the leopard got its spots. This project will lay the foundation for work that will answer those questions and many others."
Known as the Genome 10K Project, the approximately $50 million initiative is "tremendously exciting science that will have great benefits for human and animal health," Haussler said. "Within our lifetimes, we could get a glimpse of the genetic changes that have given rise to some of the most diverse life forms on the planet."

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