In our case we are still working on developing methods to permanently alter the catshark genome. If we are successful in this, any genetically modified organisms will be kept in the laboratory and never released into the wild so there is no risk of permanently changing the genome of wild catsharks.
My scientist reason for wanting to sequence the Emperor Dragonfly genome is to find out why it is so big (for an insect – the genome, that is!). Once we’ve sequenced it then we should know the answer to that question, so we don’t have any reason to change the dragonfly genome – 350 million years of evolution have likely made it as good as it can get!
The Hazel Dormouse population is in a very mysterious decline. This is partly to do with industrialisation and the destruction of habitats and resources, however 40-50% are dying during hibernation and we know that they can survive much colder, harsher conditions. The question is now why and how. If there is something gene related, such as a harmful mutation or disease, we could identify the weakness, change the genome and better support the small populations that are left in England.