Global bid to decode DNA of all life on Earth

Published: 1 November 2018

Experts have joined a bid to examine the genetic code of all 1.5 million animals, plants and other forms of life on Earth.

Edinburgh Genomics is a key partner in the international project, which is expected to revolutionise understanding of biology and evolution.

The Earth BioGenome Project aims to bolster efforts to conserve, protect and restore biodiversity across the planet.

It is expected to take around 10 years to complete with a projected cost of US$4.7 billion.

All of the data generated will be stored in public domain databases and made freely available for research use.

Having the full genomes of all the organisms we share the planet with will change our ability to understand and care for them. The UK research community has for many years been leading the way in sequencing the DNA of diverse species, and this revolutionary project will transform the science we can do.

Professor Mark Blaxter, Science Director, Edinburgh Genomics

The Wellcome Sanger Institute is leading the UK contribution in an initiative known as the Darwin Tree of Life Project, which will decode the genomes of 66,000 species across the British Isles.

Edinburgh Genomics will provide key support, alongside the Natural History Museum, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the Earlham Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI).


Source: University of Edinburgh


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