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Not Flipper's Genome, But Sandy's

Illumina and Sea World teamed up to sequence the genome of the bottlenosed dolphin, according to CBS News 8 San Diego.

They sequenced the genome of 39-year-old Sandy, a bottlenosed dolphin from SeaWorld, to produce what they call one of the most high-quality dolphin genomes. "The quality and the quantity of the data that we are providing to the research community will usher the dolphin into the era of genomics," Illumina's Karine Viaud-Martinez tells CBS News 8.

In a preprint posted to BioRxiv, Viaud-Martinez and her colleagues report that they were able to generate a phased genome assembly. They further add that their assembly, which relied on linked-reads, mate-pairs, long insert paired ends, and standard paired ends, as well as NRGene's DeNovoMAGIC assembly tool, is more complete and accurate than previous one.

CBS News 8 adds that this new dolphin genome assembly could inform both dolphin conservation efforts and studies of human health.