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Canada’s Engineer: Sequencing the Beaver Genome

Dr. Si Lok, Hospital for Sick Children Centre for Applied Genomics

What can we learn about the human body by studying Canada’s symbol, the beaver? Researchers from the Centre for Applied Genomics at the Hospital for Sick Children, working with the Toronto Zoo, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Toronto decided to ask just this and sequence the genome of the Castor Canadensis. Using a sample from the Toronto Zoo’s 10-year old beaver, Ward, the work tested some new techniques that will eventually allow ground-up human genome sequencing happen much more efficiently.

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