Tuesday, October 3, 2023

New Method of Identifying Endangered Species

    A comparison of genetic coding between 240 mammals was used to publish 12 papers. One of those papers aimed to evaluate extinction risk in placental mammals. By looking through the genomes of individual specimens it is possible to find genes that may cause afflictions or evidence of consanguineous mating. In the absence of data on habitat or population, genome data that shows genetic variations would suggest little inbreeding and a healthy population, should there also be no afflictions. This style of risk assessment helped researchers determine that the Upper Galilee Mountains blind mole rat has a healthy population despite having little data on population or habitat. In contrast, genomic information from Orcas shows some consanguineous mating, which would suggest they could be more susceptible to extinction. Population data further supports the notion that Orca whale populations are endangered.

The implications of using genomic information to identify species at risk of extinction are numerous. The ability to quickly and inexpensively identify endangered organisms would mean less time would be wasted surveying populations to determine if a species is even threatened, giving an earlier start for conservation efforts saving time to save species. Additionally, this method is relatively cheap, which would mean more money could be put into protecting the species.




1 comment:

  1. I wonder what this information on endangered species and consanguineous matings could allude to in humans, especially because certain genes in humans are a result of ancestral inbreeding. We do know that inbreeding can shorten the human life span, so I wonder if there's more to that than we think...