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Project Background

In the early 1980’s, the black-footed ferret was nearly extinct. By 1985, captive breeding programs, starting with 7 founding ferrets, restored the population to ~1,200 individuals. Samples from those 7 founders, as well some contemporary animals that failed to breed, were preserved. And it’s these preserved samples that have allowed us to perform sequencing for this project.

Given the tremendous resources in genome sequencing technology and the historic samples, Revive and Restore and Cofactor Genomics have teamed up to understand the genetic backgrounds of those early populations and contemporary black-footed ferrets. The goal is to gain insight into the genetic changes that have occurred over time and whether this information can aid in the restoration to healthy wild populations.

Cofactor Genomics was chosen as a partner in the black-footed ferret project due to our company’s (and founders’) long history of contributing to some of the most important genomic discovery projects over the last 15 years (The Human Genome Project, primate evolutionary projects, personalized medicine drug development work, and now genetic rescue of endangered species). Our company’s goal is to provide unparalleled insight into the genomics behind some of the most interesting and daunting challenges our society is currently facing.

Through the use of Cofactor’s ActiveSite viewer, researchers and citizen scientists have access to sort through the genomes of 4 individual black-footed ferrets. Access to these genomes through AcitiveSite will allow researchers to sift through millions of lines of data by typing in gene names, make hypothesis based sorts and filter through different genetic legions to make candidate gene lists.

How do I use ActiveSite

Cofactor’s ActiveSite is designed to help you easily navigate and filter your sequencing data. These videos by Project Scientist Dr. Casey Jowdy will give you an introduction to the software.

Start your research

Contact us for login details. 

Additional resources

Raw sequencing data from the NIH: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sra/?term=SRP044096