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December 13th, 2009:

Panda Genome

Can you imagine how much easier it would be to get funding if you too worked on panda biology?

Can you imagine how much easier it would be to get funding if you too worked on panda biology?

Nature just released a pre-publication copy of a paper detailing the sequencing of the panda genome. The genome was sequenced and assembled using entirely 2nd generation sequencing technologies (specifically the Illumina sequencer) which produced reads that averaged only 53 basepairs long.*

The panda they chose was a three year old female, and they got such resolution (the average individual base pair was sequenced 73 times!) they were even able to identify individual changes in sequence between her two copies of each chromosome.** From this they were able to estimate a difference in the DNA sequence (called a SNP***) occur once every 740 bases which is almost twice the rate of humans. (more…)