Noah's Frozen Ark

British scientists announced on July 27, 2004, that they were going to freeze endangered species to conserve their DNA in the hope of being able to "resuscitate" them one day thanks to cloning. The project, called the "Frozen Ark", is in fact the first DNA and tissue sample bank dedicated to endangered species. The aim of this project is to preserve genes from endangered species and hence to safeguard the genetic identity of thousands of endangered animals, by collecting DNA and tissue samples and by freezing them at -80°C, so that research on the evolution of these species can continue even if they become extinct. Within the next 30 years, 1130 species (24%) of mammals and 1183 species (12%) of birds are expected to disappear. This database would hence be a worldwide reference for research and conservation. Colin Tudge, member of the management committee of the "Frozen Ark", explained that "the project could help preserve the genetic diversity of a species already endangered and whose genetic capital is largely weakened." The first samples (the oryx, the Socorro dove, and the yellow seahorse) were placed, at the end of July, in a freezer at the Natural History Museum in London. Source:, and Within the framework of the genetic resources conservation field, the IIR is co-sponsoring a conference in Saint-Petersburg on October 19-22, 2004. For more information on this conference please contact Valentin I. Ananiev: or visit our Web site: