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Genome 10k project could help in saving endangered species
#1
Bug 
The goal of Genome 10K project is to sequence the genome of 10,000 species of vertebrates.

Mass extinction can be described as natural phenomenon when a lot of species are vanished in a short period of time. Since the beginning of the life on Earth, five (if not more) mass extinction periods happened. 98% of ever living species are erased during that time. Reasons were drastic changes in the environment and inability to adapt in a short period of time. Raising or lowering of the sea level, changes in the oxygen level and acidity of sea, climate changes, volcanic eruptions, asteroids that have collided with the Earth and huge amount of dust in the atmosphere were just some of the major reasons why so many species are extinct by now. Those extinctions were happening during the period of ~450 million years. Today, we are facing sixth mass extinction.

Even though climate changes are obvious, they are not only factor that affects life on Earth. Biggest problem and main reason for this extinction is associated with human behavior. Animals are tightly related to their habitats and once destroyed – they don’t have where to go (imagine losing your house in fire without having friends and family to help you get on your feet). It’s estimated that every 2 seconds rain forest sized as a soccer field is demolished. Rain forests are not only essential because of the amount of oxygen they are evaporating but also because of the incredible diversity of living creatures. 40-75% of all species in the world are living in the rain forests. Most of them are highly adapted to a certain environment, and relocation (even if possible) isn't a solution. They are facing near death after losing a habitat and food sources. Other equally big problem is unsustainable hunting (not that I’m approving any kind of animal killing). A lot of animals are threatened due to increased trade of illegal objects made of fur, skin, horns, mustaches…Introduction of novel (invasive) species on the new territory is disturbing natural balance and food chain as they don’t have natural predators and can easily overpopulate. Natural inhabitants are seriously threatened by the new neighbors. Pollution of any kind is one of the biggest threats to the various animals in different environments. Noise pollution with increased boat traffic in the ocean is affecting natural communication between whales. Misinterpreted “signals” could result in collision with ship, for example. All this miseries are result of our reckless behavior.

Luckily, not all people are reckless and ignorant. Some people are doing their best to preserve natural environment and save diversity until it’s too late.

Genome 10k project is one of the brightest examples. Idea of the project is to map 10 000 animal genomes of various vertebrate (roughly one species from each vertebrate genus) to help understand not just the way animals are functioning but also to create a large database that would be more that helpful in all subsequent conservation actions. Once species genome is sequenced - genetic traits that enable survival are known and conservation actions could be addressed in appropriate direction. People included in the project are scientists, zoo employees, people from natural museums and universities and number is growing bigger as more people are getting familiar with the project. If you have specimen that you can donated, you are more than welcome to contribute to the project.

Beside mapping genomes of as much species as possible (especially those that are threatened and nearly extinct), there are some other techniques used to preserve animals or help those endangered survive taught times.

Like in humans, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization or surrogacy…are some of techniques applied to help animals conceive and increase number of individuals when that’s impossible in natural environment. Sperm and egg can be collected and cryopreserved for future use as well. Breeding in captivity is other option used for species in zoo that have low number of natural occurring animals. Once newborn animals get big and strong enough, they are reintroduced into the wild.

All those techniques can’t erase damage we’ve done, but at least can prevent or at least slow down the extinction rate and maybe help diversity recover some time in the future. In the near future, hopefully.
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#2
This project Genome 10K is one of the greatest projects on earth due to some unique reasons. This project is just not only to understand how complex animal life evolved through changes in genome or DNA but also to use this knowledge to become better stewards of the planet !
Here are few developments of this project :-

In Nov 2009, the inaugural publication was done on this topic in the “Journal of Hereditary”.

This was the most cited article in 2009 with almost 75 citations and was the third most downloaded article in the history of Journal of Hereditary. The subject genomic mapping of 10,000 vertebrate species in itself is great and the developments in this are being highly appreciated worldwide.

Thereafter, from almost 16,000 vertebrate species, the project Genome 10K successfully cataloged specimens. After this, the first official announcement was made for successful sequencing of 101 species. This added to 120 vertebrate’s species those were sequenced by many other public projects of genome sequencing.

With such a huge appreciation from all scientific community for this project, new teams came up and got motivated. The result of such inspiration was that in March 2011, i5K initiative came up and successfully started work with aim of sequencing genome of 5,000 insect’s species!

The next meeting of Genome 10K project is planned in spring of 2013.
With such a great aim of this project, I am very excited to known the new list of species whose genomic sequencing has been done. The new list also includes genomic sequence of Galapagos finches, the large, medium & small ground finch of Geospiza fortis. They were collected first time by Charles Darwin at the time of his second voyage of the Beagle on the Galapagos Island.

Such projects, discoveries and innovations, for me mean that science is a system of decoding the hidden miracles of nature & the dipper you go ,you will leap and bound !
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#3
"Such projects, discoveries and innovations, for me mean that science is a system of decoding the hidden miracles of nature & the dipper you go ,you will leap and bound !"

I can't agree more! It's always a pleasure to meet people who admire nature like you do. Thank you for the reply and useful info provided. Keep on being so well informed and passionate about wonders of nature! :-)
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#4
(10-10-2012, 04:20 AM)BojanaL Wrote: "Such projects, discoveries and innovations, for me mean that science is a system of decoding the hidden miracles of nature & the dipper you go ,you will leap and bound !"

I can't agree more! It's always a pleasure to meet people who admire nature like you do. Thank you for the reply and useful info provided. Keep on being so well informed and passionate about wonders of nature! :-)

Dear BojanaL,
Thanks you so much !
With Regards,
Expertscie.
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Genome 10k project could help in saving endangered species00