Understanding organic life to its ultimate core can inspire how we as humans live, nature has always been our greatest teacher. Yet, we need new technologies to reach the next level of understanding of what nature is trying to tell us. Renewed knowledge can change the relationship between us and nature for the better.
The Earth BioGenome Project uses new sequencing technologies, informatics, automation, and artificial intelligence to create this renewed knowledge. The project is aiming to create a database of genomes of all organic life on earth within 10 years. This database then provides humanity with the opportunity for a new beginning in protecting, understanding and using biodiversity.
The protection of biodiversity is essential as currently 23.000 species are threatened with extinction and over 52% of the animal population have been wiped off the edge of the world in the past 40 years. The genome database might not only help with protecting biodiversity but also with restoring it by, for example, bringing back lost genes that are needed for a species to thrive in a certain ecosystem.
The project aids in discovering the remaining 80-90% of the earth’s species that are currently unknown.
Understanding biodiversity might tell us more about what distinguishes one ecosystem from another. It aids in discovering the remaining 80-90% of the earth’s species that are currently unknown. Additionally, the database will revolutionise the understanding of biology and evolution, as it reveals the change of genomes over time and space.
The project will not only bring about a shift in biology and evolution, but it will also have an impact on human welfare once we start using biodiversity to our advantage. The project claims that it will pave the way for new treatments for infectious diseases, create new biological synthetic fuels, generate new approaches to feed the growing population, and it could even open up the identification of drugs to slow or reverse ageing. In short, the Earth BioGenome Project will have a tremendous impact on society, science and nature. It paves the way for a foundation on which both biodiversity and human societies thrive. We go forward, not back to nature.