Saturday, December 19, 2009

Genome 10K

In the November/December issue of the Journal of Heredity, the first article is the proposal for "Genome 10K" (G10K), a project that aims to sequence the complete genomes of 10,000 vertebrates, a number roughly equivalent to one representative species for every vertebrate genus. The authors (a large community of scientists headed by David Haussler, Steve O'Brien, and Ollie Ryder) contend that it is indeed a feasible project if the cost of DNA sequencing can be reduced by just one additional order of magnitude, over the reduction by 4 orders of magnitude we have seen in recent times. The diversity of vertebrate body forms, life histories, and biochemistries, to name a few things, are hoped to be dissected through these genomes and benefits to conservation, a better understanding of the roles and histories of non-coding DNA, and insights into adaptive radiations in several key vertebrate groups are all obvious incentives. Although it was a bit strange to read what is essentially a grant proposal in a scientific journal, I still found it to be a nice description of the diversity of the major vertebrate groups - complete with pretty phylogenies for each class/major group. More info can be found on the Genome 10K website.

1 comment:

Glor said...

I'm glad this article was published because I might not otherwise have known about this project, which appears to be a significant effort with lots of important backers. It was odd to find such an article in a journal like Heredity, however. Is publishing research proposals in journals that otherwise focus on publishing peer-reviewed research results going to be new trend? Is this being done to attract attention, to attain legitimacy for proposals to funding agencies, to lay claim to a territory, or some other reasons I'm not thinking considering?