Curious Nature

August 28, 2018 to April 20, 2019

The natural world is a curious place! Delve deeper and discover more about the world around us.

Curious Nature explores the Wellcome Sanger Institute’s anniversary project to sequence the genomes of 25 species found in the UK. Humans have long sought to classify and interpret the natural world, to better understand how things are related to each other. Our ability to analyse the genetic information of all living things, encoded in their DNA, is enabling us to explore these similarities and differences in greater detail than ever before. The species chosen have been organised in five categories: flourishing, floundering, iconic, dangerous and cryptic. They were nominated by a wide-ranging community of researchers, and five of them were chosen by schoolchildren from across the UK. The categories, and the species within them, help to build a picture of biodiversity in the UK, helping us to better know the environment we live in, and also to understand and tackle our impact upon it. Creating a reference genome is not an easy task but once created, it can be a powerful tool that can be used by a global community of researchers and conservationists. Discover what we could uncover and get curious about nature!


Discover why Wellcome Sanger Institute is sequencing 25 genomes to mark its 25th anniversary, and what this new research may reveal about the world we inhabit. Hear from the Institute’s Director, Prof Sir Mike Stratton, Associate Director, Dr Julia Wilson, and Director of Scientific Operations Dr Cordelia Langford.


Image: Alex Cagan