What makes someone proud of their alma mater? Some might say football, or academic prestige—but increasingly, genetic sequencing is becoming a point of pride, The Wall Street Journal reports. As genome sequencing gets easier and cheaper, college students are using it to learn more about the animals that represent their school. Even extinct mascots, like Pennsylvania State University’s Nittany Lion, are getting the sequencing treatment. Others efforts, like the University of California, Santa Cruz, project to sequence the banana snail, have tapped into school spirit to raise tens of thousands of dollars in crowdfunding efforts. Proponents hope the research will lead to better understanding of a variety of different animals—but for these schools, the bragging rights may be just as important.
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