Russian scientists have been conducting a research project which aims to gather DNA data of every living creature, including extinct creatures.
Russia's Moscow State University has been granted the largest-ever scientific fund, 1 billion rubles (US$194 million), for the DNA project which will store the collected DNA in the world's first DNA bank.
"I call the project 'Noah's Ark.' It will involve the creation of a depository – a databank for the storing of every living thing on Earth, including not only living, but disappearing and extinct organisms. This is the challenge we have set for ourselves," MSU rector Viktor Sadivnichy told journalists.
"It will enable us to cryogenically freeze and store various cellular materials, which can then reproduce. It will also contain information systems. Not everything needs to be kept in a petri dish," Sadivnichy added.
The project to collect 'Noah's ark' is due to be completed by 2018. It will be 430 sq km in size, and is being built in one of the university's central campuses.