Earth BioGenome Project: Making Discoveries One Genome at a Time

Earth BioGenome Project: Making Discoveries One Genome at a Time

The earth is jam-packed with millions of species of animals, and although over 8.7 million species of animals have been identified, there still could be millions more that have not been discovered yet. The Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), founded in 2018,  is helping to discover all species of animals with special systems and experienced scientists. 

Using the genetics of animals that have already been discovered, the Earth BioGenome Project is using artificial intelligence(AI) to save the DNA of dying breeds of animals.

In an interview with the Matador Messenger, Executive Manager of the Earth BioGenome Project, Nicolette Caperello, explained the purpose by stating, “We are developing a central system so researchers know who is working on which species to avoid replication. Without this, we could have a researcher in Brazil working on the same species as someone in China, Norway, or Kenya. Since it is expensive to sequence each species, we want to make sure that our partners are aware of what others are doing to prevent repetition.”

The program has become a worldwide project to create a centralized “hub” for researchers around the world to share information.

As if EBP isn’t doing enough, they are slowing down the loss of biodiversity, which means they can keep specific breeds of animals alive so not one animal trumps all. Also, it could help scientists develop cures for new diseases, create biological synthetic fuels and matter, and find new ways to feed people in need.

So far, they have collected 1,000 specimens of life in Chile, 1,000 fungi genomes, 5,000 insect genomes, 10,000 bird genomes, and 10,000 plant genomes. Genomes are the genes of a cell or organism.

EBP has people working in places like the U.S., the U.K., Denmark, Brazil, China, and Chile. These countries have signed a memo saying that they will all stick to the primary goals of the project.

EBP is toiling around the world to help save endangered species, cure diseases, and find new ways to cure hunger. By 2028, EBP aims to have a genetic blueprint for every animal and plant on the planet.  If they reach their goal, the results could be revolutionary. The opportunity these scientists have is incredible: to change the world with science. Nicolette Caperello says, “My advice to anyone interested in this field is to get involved, whether that’s following scientists on Twitter, reading academic journal articles to stay current on scientific breakthroughs and discoveries, or finding a local scientist looking for help. Also, stay curious and ask lots of questions.”