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13 June, 2016 - 09:38 By Kate Sweeney

Conference to promote building of genomic zoo for 10,000 species

A US-led initiative to protect 10,000 vertebrate species is the focus of a conference being hosted in Norwich next year. 

Zoologists, geneticists, genome scientists, technologists, and bioinformaticians from around the globe – who have pledged to facilitate the genome sequence and analyses of some 10,000 living species of vertebrates – will converge on The biannual Genome 10k Conference from August 29-September 1 at The Genome Analysis Centre.

The Genome 10K initiative, led by the University of California, Santa Cruz Genomics Institute, aims to find out how complex animal life evolved through changes in DNA and use this knowledge to become better stewards of the planet. By assembling a genomic zoo, the Genome 10K community intends to gather a collection of DNA sequences representing the genomes of 10,000 vertebrate species; approximately one for every genus of vertebrate.

With the current trend of cost reduction in DNA sequencing, the project is suggested to be achievable within the next few years.

Federica Di Palma (pictured), member of the Genome 10k steering committee and director of science at TGAC said: “Capturing the genetic diversity of vertebrate species would create an unprecedented resource for the life sciences, for worldwide conservation efforts and food security.”

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