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All the (Eukaryotic) Sequences

An effort to sequence eukaryotic life on Earth has teamed up with the Earth Bank of Codes — the sequences the Earth BioGenome Project generates are to be added to the bank and those seeking to use that data may then have to pay a fee for its commercial use, the Economist reports.

The Earth BioGenome Project originated in 2015 when researchers led by the University of California, Davis' Harris Lewin decided to sequence life on Earth in a more systematic way. As GenomeWeb has reported, the project plans to first sequence a member of each eukaryotic family, then sequence a member of each genera, and then each species. The family-level sequences will be reference genome quality and the others will be draft quality, it added.

The Earth Bank of Codes, meanwhile, is a more expansive version of Juan Carlos Castilla Rubio's Amazon Bank of Codes, the Economist notes. Castilla, it says, was moved to start his repository to ensure that regions providing biological samples, like the Amazon, that fuel commercial products receive some of the benefits, by using blockchain-based access.

The partnership was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and Lewin says in a statement that it will be "a global biology infrastructure project to sequence life on the planet to enable solutions for preserving the Earth's biodiversity, managing ecosystems, spawning bio-based industries and sustaining human societies."