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Researchers must pick and choose which animals' genomes to sequence

Scientists are unlikely to sequence the genomes of all 8.7 million species on Earth anytime soon, so they pick and choose based on the potential benefit to basic science or humanity. "Accurate reference genomes are important for understanding an organism's biology, for learning about the genetic causes of health and disease and, in animals, for making breeding decisions," the National Human Genome Research Institute says.

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