Russia has awarded a huge national grant to Moscow State University to facilitate the creation of a ‘Noah’s Ark’ containing DNA from every living creature on the Earth, the first database of its kind.
The database should be completed by 2018 and the storage vault is said to cover an area of 430sq/km.
Viktor Sadivinchy, rector of Moscow State University, said in a press release, “I call the project ‘Noah’s Ark.’ It will involve the creation of a depository – a databank for the storing of every living thing on Earth, including not only living, but disappearing and extinct organisms. This is the challenge we have set for ourselves.”
“It will enable us to cryogenically freeze and store various cellular materials, which can then reproduce. It will also contain information systems. Not everything needs to be kept in a petri dish.”
“If it’s realized, this will be a leap in Russian history as the first nation to create an actual Noah’s Ark of sorts.”
The DNA samples will be compiled from a number of existing sources, including the Botanical Garden, the Anthropological Museum, and the Zoological Museum, at a cost of 1 billion rubles (US$194 million).