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About our role:
Wytham Woods is acting as a ‘Genomic observatory’ in the Tree of Life project, meaning that we are aiming to sequence the genome of every species in Wytham Woods!
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At the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, we’re working to understand and protect plants and fungi around the world for the well-being of people, and the future of all life on Earth.
We look at tiny creatures made of just a single cell, which we call protists. We collect samples from around the UK and then reveal their genetic secrets in the lab – sometimes discovering completely new species!
What is an invertebrate you say? Great question! An invertebrate is any animal without a spine. Think of insects, worms, jellyfish and you’re crossing over into our territory. We spend our days outside searching for these animals.
We bring into the lab, extract them, prepare them for sequencing, then make sure they’re safely transferred to the sequencing team for the big event! Once sequenced, we hand data over to the Code Crackers.
We stare at computer screens all day to stitch together the DNA sequences produced by the Genome Generator team. Then we look for interesting patterns in the DNA that help us understand how only 4 letters A T G C make up all life!