Biology

Scientists successfully crowdfund black rhino genome sequencing project

The project, which was hosted on the scientific crowdfunding platform Experiment, aims to sequence the genome of a black rhino named Ntombi
The project, which was hosted on the scientific crowdfunding platform Experiment, aims to sequence the genome of a black rhino named Ntombi
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The team will then produce a fully annotated, open access version of the black rhino genome, allowing biologists, conservationists, historians and anyone else who so desires, access to the data
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The team will then produce a fully annotated, open access version of the black rhino genome, allowing biologists, conservationists, historians and anyone else who so desires, access to the data
The project, which was hosted on the scientific crowdfunding platform Experiment, aims to sequence the genome of a black rhino named Ntombi
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The project, which was hosted on the scientific crowdfunding platform Experiment, aims to sequence the genome of a black rhino named Ntombi

A team of scientists, led by the University of Washinton's Dr Chuck Murray, has successfully crowdfunded a project to sequence the genome of the black rhinoceros – a species that's been poached to near extinction. The effort is an important step in the conservation of the species, of which there are barely more than five thousand remaining.

The black rhino is a criticallyendangered species. Three of the eight subspecies have already beenhunted to extinction, and just 5,055 of the animals are left in theworld today. We've seen numerous projects over the years that aim tohelp protect the species in one way or another, including usingdrones to keep an eye on animals living in conservation habitats and national parks. Just last week, we reported on a SanFrancisco-based startup that's working on abioengineered rhino horn which it hopes will help ease the relentlesshunting of the species.

The team will then produce a fully annotated, open access version of the black rhino genome, allowing biologists, conservationists, historians and anyone else who so desires, access to the data
The team will then produce a fully annotated, open access version of the black rhino genome, allowing biologists, conservationists, historians and anyone else who so desires, access to the data

The crowdfunding campaign aims toattack the issue from a slightly different angle, by gaining a betterunderstanding of the animal itself. The project, which was hosted onthe scientific crowdfunding platform Experiment, aims to sequence the genome ofone of the remaining black rhinos, named Ntombi. In doing so, theteam believes that it will be able to gain key insights into thespecies, answering questions pertaining to evolution andsusceptibility to disease.

Once the raw sequence has beenobtained, it will then by aligned with that of the southern whiterhino genome. The team will then produce a fully annotated, openaccess version of the black rhino genome, allowing biologists,conservationists, historians and anyone else who so desires, accessto the data.

The crowdfunding effort recentlyconcluded at a little over US$17,000, just tipping it over itstarget. For more on the important conservation effort, you can checkout the video below.

Source: Experiment

Black Rhino Genome project

1 comment
Cyberxbx
If it only costs 17,000 dollars to sequence an animals genome today, we should sequence 1,000 or more per year. This would be a miniscule amount to pay to account for the variations of life. The more we have collected, the the knowledge will help us understand our place in the world, and maybe, fix many of the problems that plague the world. (like effective crops that naturally repel fungus and mold, and other diseases.
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