First Randy Dotinga, then The New York Times guy and now Jingjing — everyone seems to be getting their genome done.

Chinese researchers completed the first sequencing of a giant panda’s genome, on none other than Jingjing, the giant panda that was the mascot of the 2008 Olympics. And it was done with the Genome Analyzer, which is manufactured by the San Diego-based biotech, Illumina.

In one month, researchers at the Beijing Genomics Institute in Shenzhen assembled the three gigabase (a unit of length for DNA) genome belonging to the endangered animal, which is only found in the wild in China. Among other things, the data will help researchers better understand the impact of captive breeding on giant pandas, according to an Illumina news release.

“The sequencing of the giant panda genome is the first project of the magnitude dedicated to applying scientific information to conserve an endangered species,” stated San Diego Zoo researcher Oliver Ryder in the release.

DAVID WASHBURN

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