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Sequencing the Zoo

For their DNA Zoo, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine are sequencing the DNA of more than a thousand species, Texas Monthly reports. It adds that the researchers there, led by Erez Lieberman Aiden, hope to help enable endangered species to persist.

According to Texas Monthly, the project began in 2011 and has amassed samples from 4,234 animals, encompassing 1,105 species. Most of these samples, it notes, have come from zoos or aquariums, and can help ensure that mating animals aren't too closely related and preserve endangered species' genetic diversity. Some sampling approaches have had to be creative, the magazine notes — DNA was collected from southern right whale by sampling the air it snorts out of its blowhole.

"The DNA Zoo won't be the only piece we need to preserve the genomes of these animals to push forward the idea of conservation, but it is a huge piece in that puzzle," Blake Hanson from the University of Texas Health Science Center tells Texas Monthly.

The Scan

Call to Look Again

More than a dozen researchers penned a letter in Science saying a previous investigation into the origin of SARS-CoV-2 did not give theories equal consideration.

Not Always Trusted

In a new poll, slightly more than half of US adults have a great deal or quite a lot of trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Hill reports.

Identified Decades Later

A genetic genealogy approach has identified "Christy Crystal Creek," the New York Times reports.

Science Papers Report on Splicing Enhancer, Point of Care Test for Sexual Transmitted Disease

In Science this week: a novel RNA structural element that acts as a splicing enhancer, and more.