Animal Code: Our Favorite Genomes [LiveScience 2012-05-30]
Why we sequence genomes
Every part of our bodies and every action of our cells is exquisitely controlled by the billion base pairs that make up our DNA. These nucleotides are the building blocks of genes, the part of the genome that holds the information our cells turn into proteins.
Since the first gene was suggested by Gregor Mendel in the 1860s, scientists have been searching for ways to decode them, to figure out how this code creates the end product: An organism. That organism can be an animal, plant, virus or bacteria that lives, reproduces and spreads its genome. Uncovering the secrets locked in each species' genomes will teach researchers how to harness the power of genes, from the longevity of the naked mole rate and the fat processing abilities of the orangutan.
Dozens of animal, plant and microbe genomes have been sequenced. Here are LiveScience's favorite 10 genome projects.