The new genomes are a hugely valuable public resource for research in mammalian biology and evolution, with applications in wildlife conservation and even human health.
Several members of the Grutzner lab worked closely on this international collaboration, particularly co-first author Dr Linda Shearwin. 🍾
The work has revealed lots of surprises - one of which is that the system for safe removal of the oxygen carrier, haemoglobin, thought to be common to all mammals, is missing from monotremes! This suggests that it arose quite recently in the ancestor of all other mammals.
We are excited for the amazing future work that these genomes will facilitate!
You can read the open-access article in Nature.