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Huge plan to map the DNA of all life in British Isles

Huge plan to map the DNA of all life in British Isles

Science
Tony JolliffeSeventy thousand species.That’s the best guess for the tally of life, including plants, animals and fungi, found in Britain and Ireland.And it’s the target of one of biology's most ambitious projects - scientists want to map the DNA of every single one of these organisms. Having these genomes - each a complete set of genetic information for a species - could transform how we understand the natural world. And there could be benefits for us too in the hunt for nature-inspired medicines and materials.In Plymouth, the starting point for this immense task is some thick, sticky mud.Sediment scooped up from the bottom of the Plymouth Sound has been hoisted onto the deck of the research vessel that belongs to the Marine Biological Association.It's placed in a sieve and hosed off, rev...