News FocusHuman Genome 10th Anniversary

Tracing the Tree of Life

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Science  25 Feb 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6020, pp. 1005-1006
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6020.1005-b

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With the help of next-generation sequencing, a team of evolutionary biologists is shining a scientific spotlight on little-studied organisms called micrognathozoans. During a recent field trip to Greenland, they collected specimens of the tiny invertebrate and have stored them in a freezer. In a project that would have been unthinkably expensive for a single lab just a few years ago, they will now decipher much of the creature's genome and identify its genes. And that's just the beginning. The researchers and their colleagues have freezers full of other unusual organisms whose genomes they plan to sequence so that they can refine the much-debated animal tree of life. This story and the ones accompanying it are part of a collection this month reflecting on the 10th anniversary of the publication of the human genome, which is gathered here.