The Earth BioGenome Project has an ambitious plan to sequence a genome from every plant, animal, and fungus on the planet, as well as from many single-celled organisms, such as algae. As detailed in the New Yorker, the project faces a formidable foe in their quest to save the valuable genetic information encoded in each genome: ongoing mass extinction. A less ominous but still serious threat to the project is the question of ownership over DNA sequences, which Professor Jacob Sherkow spoke about in the article. “What’s best for science? What’s best for the world? What’s best for the particular country that we’re taking samples from?”: Sherkow listed these as examples the project must answer and find balance within.
Read the full article on the New Yorker website.