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$5bn project to map DNA of all life on Earth


Posted on Friday, 2 November, 2018 | Comment icon 5 comments

The project could lead to the development of new medicines. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Brian Gratwicke
Known as The Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), the international endeavour is expected to take ten years.
Described as 'the next moonshot for biology', the project will attempt to sequence the genomes of every animal, bird, plant and fungus on the entire planet - of total of 1.5 million species.

Project chair Prof Harris Lewin has likened the endeavour to the Human Genome Project which successfully sequenced the human genome between 1990 and 2003.

"Having the roadmap, the blueprints... 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... new resources for researchers in agricultural and medical fields," he said.

Achieving this however won't come cheap - the project is set to cost a whopping $4.7 billion.

"[It will lay] a foundation for all strands of biology and biotechnology," said Dr Julia Wilson from The Wellcome Sanger Institute at Hinxton in Cambridgeshire.

"We're talking about new medicines, new fuels for the future. We're limited at the moment by our imaginations - we can't even imagine what this would tell us."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (5)

Tags: DNA, Earth

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by seanjo on 2 November, 2018, 20:18
Nice thought, but how is that even possible...they're going to map every insect species, on the planet's, DNA? †
Comment icon #2 Posted by Carlos Allende on 3 November, 2018, 15:37
Send the info to terraformed Mars. Get nerd robots to reconstitute it at the other other end, all cool stuff like†hummingbirds and tigers, with a minimum of dullard humans. I've rumbled you, Professor Lewin.†
Comment icon #3 Posted by gwa125 on 3 November, 2018, 16:06
Anyone played horizon: zero dawn? Thatís what this reminds me of.†
Comment icon #4 Posted by kobolds on 5 November, 2018, 2:24
1.5 million is very little
Comment icon #5 Posted by Emma_Acid on 7 November, 2018, 10:38
Given that it cost $1bn to sequence just the human genome, this is amazing progress.


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