News From the Field
Animal With the Most genes? A Tiny Crustacean
February 3, 2011
Complexity ever in the eye of its beholders, the animal with the most genes--about 31,000--is the near-microscopic freshwater crustacean Daphnia pulex, or water flea. By comparison, humans have about 23,000 genes. Daphnia is the first crustacean to have its genome sequenced. The findings are part of a comprehensive report in this week's Science by members of the Daphnia Genomics Consortium, an international network of scientists.
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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2012, its budget was $7.0 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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