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Earth BioGenome Project builds foundation for 10-year sequencing mission

August 27, 2019

The Earth BioGenome Project (EBP) is a confederated network of partner organizations and affiliated projects that have a common goal of sequencing and annotating the genomes of all 1.5 million known species of eukaryotes on the planet in 10 years.  The EBP aims to create a digital backbone of sequences from the tree of life that will serve as critical infrastructure for biology, conservation, agriculture, medicine, and the growing global bioeconomy.  


August 27, 2019


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Gene and the honey bee

August 6, 2019

For anyone trying to tease out how the brain makes sense of the world, the honey bee is a perfect choice of study organism. It’s a social animal, living in a complex society where the jobs are divvied up. It has its own special language: the waggle dance, which scouts use to tell their nestmates exactly where to find the best flowers. It’s a champion navigator, using the sun and other cues to find its way to floral resources sometimes miles away and then bring them back to the hive. It harvests and then processes – some would say “cooks” – its food.


August 6, 2019


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Illinois teams with Anheuser-Busch for bee research

February 6, 2019

There’s plenty of sweet irony in a new partnership between Illinois and St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, LLC, that will raise money for bee research at the university.

Anheuser-Busch has pledged $5,000 to The Healthy Bee Fund at Illinois. In addition, the company will donate $1 to the fund for every case sold of b, a new alcoholic honey beverage scheduled to go on sale in the Northeast U.S. in March.


February 6, 2019


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New laboratory system allows researchers to probe secret lives of queen bees

December 3, 2018

More than a decade after the identification of colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon marked by widespread loss of honey bee colonies, scientists are still working to untangle the ecologically complex problem of how to mitigate ongoing losses of honey bees and other pollinating species. One much-needed aid in this effort is more efficient ways to track specific impacts on bee health. To address this need, a group of Illinois researchers has established a laboratory-based method for tracking the fertility of honey bee queens.


December 3, 2018


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Global Effort to Sequence All Complex Life on Earth Launches

October 31, 2018

The Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), a global effort to sequence the genetic code, or genomes, of all 1.5 million known animal, plant, protozoan and fungal species on Earth, officially launches today (1 November) as key scientific partners and funders from around the globe gather in London, UK to discuss progress in organising and funding the project.


October 31, 2018


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IGB Director Gene Robinson elected to National Academy of Medicine

October 15, 2018

Entomology professor and director of the IGB Gene Robinson, an international leader in honey bee research, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine “for pioneering contributions to understanding the roles of genes in social behavior.”

Election to the NAM “is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service,” the Academy writes. This honor follows Robinson’s receipt of the 2018 Wolf Prize in Agriculture earlier this year.


October 15, 2018


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Earth BioGenome Project aims to sequence genomes of 1.5M species

April 24, 2018

An international consortium of scientists is proposing a massive project to sequence, catalog and analyze the genomes of all known eukaryotic species on the planet, an undertaking the researchers say will take 10 years, cost $4.7 billion and require more than 200 petabytes of digital storage capacity. Eukaryotes include all organisms except bacteria and archaea. There are an estimated 10-15 million eukaryotic species on Earth. Of those, the team proposes sequencing 1.5 million.


April 24, 2018


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