Skip navigation
The First Project to Use DNA to Understand an Entire Ecosystem
Narrator: This is Science Today. A team of U.S and French biologists have received a 5.2 million dollar grant to fund an ambitious project to create a genetic inventory of all non-microbial life on Moorea, a tropical island in the South Pacific.

Roderick: This is the first project to use DNA to understand an entire ecosystem; all the players, all the species that interact in this ecosystem and how they interact.

Narrator: Biologist George Roderick of the University of California, Berkeley says their research on Moorea will result in a how-to-guide for studying ecosystems.

Roderick: We'll have information available for how to collect specimens, how to collect DNA, what tissues to use for extracting DNA, how to preserve these specimens, how to identify them and how to use them in ecological studies. We need to speed up the process of research to address urgent questions having to do with global change. And we need to do this quickly and we need to provide this information to researchers everywhere who can use the information.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.