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New Effort Will Analyze Genes of Endangered Northwest Orcas

By October 10, 2018No Comments

A new scientific effort will sequence the genomes of critically endangered Pacific Northwest orcas to better understand their genetics and potentially find ways to save them from extinction.

The collaboration announced Thursday involves scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, the nonprofit Nature Conservancy and BGI, a global genomics company.

The project will sequence the genome — the entire genetic code of a living thing — of more than 100 southern resident killer whales using skin or other samples collected from live and dead orcas over the past two decades. Initial results are expected next year.