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Center for Conservation Genomics News

A nutrition lab research assistant at the Zoo wearing a full-body snowsuit stands in the freezer where animal milk samples are stored. The shelves are stacked with cardboard boxes and she holds a small box filled with tubes of milk samples.
Dec. 20, 2019
As a research assistant for the nutrition laboratory, I wear a snowsuit year-round. That’s because I spend a lot of time in a -20 degree Fahrenheit walk-in freezer located in the Zoo’s science...
Three sable antelope standing in a field.
May. 17, 2019
DNA is the ultimate library, and scientists at SCBI’s Center for Species Survival and Center for Conservation Genomics are cataloging it as diligently as any librarians. 
A small, green-brown frog, called a wood frog, with smooth skin, large eyes and stripes along its hind legs sits on the ground in a bed of fallen leaves
Mar. 05, 2019
Smithsonian scientists and partners believe genetic diversity could hold the key to saving amphibians from Ranavirus, a pathogen that is particularly devastating to frogs and toads in the U.S.
San Joaquin Kit Foxes
Feb. 22, 2019
Without ever laying eyes on a San Joaquin kit fox, scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Conservation Genomics know how many of the cute creatures live in...
Eastern red-spotted newt at Amazonia
Nov. 30, 2018
The secret to salamanders’ survival may be in their slimy secretions. Scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are swabbing salamanders in Shenandoah, looking for disease-fighting...
A medium-sized black bird, called a common raven, perched on a tree branch
Mar. 07, 2018
In a new study almost 20 years in the making, Smithsonian researchers and partners report some of the strongest evidence yet of the phenomenon of speciation reversal in two lineages of common ravens.
McInerney and Parker visit Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve on Lebanese Independence Day to collect scat samples with Magda and her st
Jan. 18, 2018
Which mammals live in Lebanon’s legendary cedar forests? Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute staff traveled to Beirut and trained students to identify animals using advanced DNA tools.
North American bat
Oct. 06, 2017
These bats have been dead for more than a century, but they are finding a second “life” as a research specimen. It may sound like a spooky science fiction story, but it is actually the work of...
Tortoise mating
Jul. 13, 2017
In a shell of a paternity test story, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) scientists found that male desert tortoises that had been relocated from a threatened habitat to a new nearby...
Two desert tortoises mating
May. 24, 2017
Four years after conservationists relocated 570 desert tortoises in California from a threatened habitat to a nearby location, the tortoises outwardly appeared to have successfully acclimated....
Sea otter floats on its back in the water and uses rock to open clam
Mar. 22, 2017
Tool use by sea otters to break open well-armored food is not necessarily a family matter, according to a new study published this week by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and...