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Sequencing Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? To Be Sequenced, Of Course

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Whatever you do, don’t call ’em chicken. This month, Incyte Genomics is scheduled to complete the Chicken Sequencing Project, which it performed under contract for the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, the University of Nottingham, the University of Dundee, and the Roslin Institute. The UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is footing the bill for what’s considered the first significant study of avian genomics.

The results should be released at the Chicken Genome Workshop in mid-December. The chicken data, which is owned by the universities, will be made available in public databases.

The project plans to create a genomic database of particular chicken-cell lines that allow individual genes to be manipulated, which in turn might help researchers understand genomic function. “Better knowledge of chicken functional genomics may have a significant impact on the study of retrovirology and embryology,” says William Brown of the University of Nottingham’s Institute of Genetics.

— Kirell Lakhman