Virtual Gene Bank for Endangered Species Created
The Project Frozen Ark created, a bio-banking charity, with headquarters at the University of Nottingham and a research team currently based at the University conducted a series of workshops with the award-winning artist Paul Evans where they co-created a virtual gene bank ‘Virtual Ark’ for endangered species through drawing, making models and writing poetry. Human VR, a digital agency has developed these into immersive 360-degree digital artwork that brings the creations to virtual life online.
The Frozen Ark Project is a collaborative global effort to safeguard the DNA, tissue, and viable cells of the thousands of endangered species to retain their genetic knowledge. Professor Michael Bruford, Director of the Frozen Ark, said: “The ‘Virtual Ark’ is an amazing initiative that will help get the message out to young people, who hold the key to the future of our planet and its biodiversity.
The Virtual Ark project has been launched to coincide with COP26. It aims to raise awareness of the extraordinarily bio-diverse heritage of the planet and the plight of animals and wildlife threatened with extinction. It asks the questions:
What would a virtual ark look like?
Out of more than 15 thousand vulnerable species which ones would you save?
How can we safeguard the future of these amazing creatures?
And, just what is a ‘biobank?’
The Project is one of the many organizations that are working hard to halt the loss of biodiversity, by ensuring that all biological material that has been collected from threatened animal species is properly curated, and used responsibly and sustainably in conservation management and research.