Volume 16 | Issue 13 | 22 | Jun. 24, 2002

Honeybee Sequencing: One Honey of an Idea

The little buzzers are a magic well for discoveries in biology | By Myrna E. Watanabe

Photo: Courtesy of Chip Taylor
 TOGETHERNESS: A swarm of Neotropical African honeybees in Venezuela

In late May, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) released its priority list of organisms under consideration for entry into the sequencing pipeline: One was the honeybee. It was a move that has numerous supporters. "We feel that sequencing [the bee] ... will provide important tools and unique models for a variety of different areas of biology, including social behavior," says Gene E. Robinson, professor of entomology and director of the neuroscience program at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and lead author of the proposal that the NHGRI reviewed.

Robinson ticks off numerous reasons why the honeybee...

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