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Sequencing the Planet and Frozen Arks
Alex Steffen, 17 Aug 04

More about sequencing the biosphere: the London Zoo and British Natural History Museum have announced the details of their Frozen Ark program.

Working from the World Conservation Union's "red list" of threatened species, frozen arksters will find and sample members of species that are on their way out, creating a frozen zoo of extinct animals' DNA.

As the BBC reports, the Frozen Ark crowd isn't even talking about restoring extinct animals at this point:

"At the moment the main purpose of this genetic "information bank" is to ensure we keep a record of past genomes. What it gets used for is the remit of future generations.

"This project is an essential tool which in the future will allow us to study DNA sequences of extinct animals," said Bill Holt, from the Zoological Society of London."

Frozen zooz are no replacement for conservation. We don't know that it is, in fact, possible to raise the biodiversity dead, or what we'll get if we try it. But keeping a record of what's we've lost, or what we're in danger of losing, is a sound idea all the way 'round.

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