Scientists today launched a broad program to map the genetic code of the 1.5 million known complex species of life on Earth and their goal is to complete the project within a decade.
Scientists have pointed out that the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP) is “the Next Moon Launch Biology” after the Human Genome Program, a $ 3 billion project for mapping human DNA that lasted 13 years and was completed in 2003.
EBP, as reported by Reuters and relaying the News Agency, is expected to cost $ 4.7 billion and “will eventually create a new foundation for biology to boost solutions to preserve biodiversity and sustainable human societies “Said Harris Liuin, a professor at the University of California at the US and president of the EBP.
“Having the road map, the plans … will be an amazing source for new discoveries, to understand the rules of life, how development works, new approaches to preserving rare species that are in danger of disappearing and … new resources for researchers in the fields of agriculture and medicine, “he told journalists in London.
This plan will include major research efforts across the world, including the US program to find the Genetic Code sequence and the 66,000 vertebrate, a Chinese program to find the 10,000 plant genome sequence and the Global Ant Genomes Alliance, which aims to find the sequence of approximately 200 antimicrobial genomes.
In Britain, the sequences of genomes of red and gray squirrels, European reddish, Dolomedes plantarius and raspberry will be added to this broad database. The volume of biological data to be gathered is expected to be “scaled” – more than what data is gathered from Twitter, YouTube or the entire astronomy.
Jim Smith, scientific director of the Wellcome Trust charity, said the program “will inspire an international level,” and, like the Human Genome Program, has the potential to change research into illness and health.
“By nature we will have a deep understanding of how to develop new treatments for infectious diseases, identify drugs to slow down aging, create new approaches to feed the world or create new biomaterials,” he told reporters .
So far, the sequence of genomes of less than 3,500 species of complex life has been found, or only about 0.2%. Less than 100 of these work has been done at a level that is useful to researchers. The plan is for EBP to add thousands of high-quality genomic sequences, which scientists say will revolutionize understanding of biology and evolution, and will also boost efforts to conserve and protect biodiversity.
Lionne said that signs of a rapid decline in biodiversity and an increase in the number of endangered species highlight the urgency of the program. “There is a desperate need to draw up the list of life on our planet now,” he said. “We will do it not because it is easy, but because it is difficult and because it is important to do it”.