Taking a closer look at DNA: using sequencing to explore evolution and biodiversity
Does the fish that is sold at the market really belong to the specimen that it is told us? Is surimi made of real fish? Do you want to be the first to catalogue new living organisms before they disappear forever? In this project you will design your own research project based on the sequencing of fish species with the aim of answering these and other questions and to contribute to real science. How? By generating real data that will be published in the international data base “Barcoding of life”, in order to be used by the entire researchers community.
By studying the variations in short stretches of moderately conserved genes, scientists can quickly and objectively figure out the biological identity of anything that contains DNA. Being able to quickly identify a species is critical – the biodiversity on our planet is rapidly decreasing, and using unique genetic sequence identifiers (“barcodes”) can help to catalogue living things before they disappear forever. Moreover, this process can provide key insights into the mechanism of evolution through speciation.
In this project you will be introduced to new concepts and methodologies in molecular biology to design your own research project based on the sequencing of fish species with the aim of identifying variations important for studying evolution and ecology. During your investigation you will generate real data that will be published in the international data base “Barcoding of life”, in order to be used by the entire researchers community, thus being part of a worldwide scientific project.
This database uses the DNA barcoding, a taxonomic method that uses a short genetic marker in an organism's DNA, to identify it as belonging to a particular species. We will focus on identifying important variations for studying evolution and ecology, using sequences to infer animal inter-relationships or cryptic-species of fish. Each of you will work in a real research environment, share knowledge and tackle technical problems within the scientific team. We hope to awake your passion for science and entice you into a research career.
Biology, genetics, bioinformatics, biotechnology
Lab coat, laptop