Scientists have set out to create a modern-day version of Noah’s Ark. Experts have come up with a revolutionary idea to save the DNA of all complex life on Earth, and this process could help revolutionize our understanding of evolution.
A Team of 25 scientists aims to collect and store the genetic codes of all known plants, animals and fungi over the next decade. This collection of DNA codes could be used by experts to learn more about the evolution of different species, and how we can improve the environment.
The project, called BioGenome believed to cost around $5 Billion is hailed by experts as one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken in the history of biology.
BioGenome is led by scientists from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, who believe how cataloging the DNA of all living species on the planet could lead towards numerous innovations in medicine, agriculture, and conservation.
The project could also be considered a must do, primarily because currently, less than 0.2 percent of Earth species have been successfully sequenced.
Speaking about the project to the Times John Kress from the Smithsonian Institution said:
“We will build a complete library of life that we can sample and delve into for whatever purpose.
“We can use it for improving our environments and ourselves and revolutionizing our understanding of the evolution of life.”
In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the scientists behind the project wrote:
“Increasing our understanding of Earth’s biodiversity and responsibly stewarding its resources are among the most crucial scientific and social challenges of the new millennium.”
Furthermore, researchers say “The outcomes of the EBP will inform a broad range of major problems facing humanity, such as the impact of climate change on biodiversity, the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems, and the preservation and enhancement of ecosystem services.”
And humans have a lot to learn, in addition to all of the above.
In fact, experts estimate that around ten to fifteen million species exist on earth that we know nothing about. Most of these unknown species are believed to be single cell organisms and small insects in the oceans.
The worrying part is that scientists have calculated that extinction rates are currently one thousand times higher than if humans did not exist on Earth, something that makes this project a must do for science.
Experts add that the project also aims to save some of the knowledge of species that are currently on the verge of extinction.
“Unimaginable biological secrets are held in the genomes of the millions of known and unknown organisms on our planet,” experts wrote.
“This ‘dark matter’ of biology could hold the key to unlocking the potential for supporting planetary ecosystems on which we depend and provide life support systems for a burgeoning world population.”
According to reports, the completed BioGenome project is expected to make use of around one exabyte of digital storage capacity, that’s roughly one BILLION gigabytes.
Gene E. Robinson from the University of Illinois explained that “The Earth BioGenome Project will give us insight into the history and diversity of life and help us better understand how to conserve it,”
“Scientists believe that by the end of the century more than half of all species will vanish from the face of the Earth, and with consequences to human life that are unknown, but are possibly catastrophic,” Harris Lewin from the University of California said.
Reference: Daily Mail
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