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Scientists want to store DNA of 6.7 million species on the moon, just in case

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Scientists want to store DNA of 6.7 million species on the moon, just in case

Photo caption: Scientists want to store the DNA of 6.7 million of Earth’s species on a lunar ark as a backup. Image credit: Shutterstock. Article by Harry Baker. Originally published on Live Science – March 14, 2021.

A “lunar ark” hidden inside the moon’s lava tubes could preserve the sperm, eggs and seeds of millions of Earth’s species, a group of scientists has proposed.

The ark, or gene bank, would be safely hidden in these hollowed-out tunnels and caves sculpted by lava more than 3 billion years ago and would be powered by solar panels above. It would hold the cryogenically preserved genetic material of all 6.7 million known species of plants, animals and fungi on Earth, which would require at least 250 rocket launches to transport to the moon, according to the researchers.

Scientists believe the endeavor could safeguard our planet’s wildlife against both natural and human-caused apocalyptic scenarios, such as a supervolcano eruption or a nuclear war, and ensure the survival of their genes. […]

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