The Gila monster is an amazing creature for so many reasons, and now our lab and collaborators are going to be generating the first stages needed to understand its genome.
To do this we are crowd-funding the money needed for these first steps, which will involve analyzing DNA from six different individuals (three males and three females).
We are competing in an Animal Super power competition. The project with the most backers (not amount) wins an extra $1500 from Experiment.com towards their goal! (Second and third place also are awarded extra $ towards their project.) That would be fantastic! If you cannot contribute, please share!
Super-power: Gila monsters are the only venomous lizard in the United States (and only one of two venomous lizards anywhere!), and a peptide in their venom is being used in successful clinical treatments for Type-II diabetes. Unlike most reptiles, they store fat in their tails, and store water in their bladders! They're the most amazing kind of monster.
For updates about the project, check out our lab notes:
* Gila monster sex chromosomes: https://experiment.com/u/Xg1LQ
* Why don't we already have a Gila monster genome? https://experiment.com/u/mbQwdA