Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

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

International Team Proposes Checklist for Returning Genomic Research Results

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics present a checklist to guide the return of genomic research results to study participants.

Study Presents New Insights Into How Cancer Cells Overcome Telomere Shortening

Researchers report in Nucleic Acids Research that ATRX-deficient cancer cells have increased activity of the alternative lengthening of telomeres pathway.

Researchers Link Telomere Length With Alzheimer's Disease

Within UK Biobank participants, longer leukocyte telomere length is associated with a reduced risk of dementia, according to a new study in PLOS One.

Nucleotide Base Detected on Near-Earth Asteroid

Among other intriguing compounds, researchers find the nucleotide uracil, a component of RNA sequences, in samples collected from the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu, as they report in Nature Communications.