Getting started: finding the science behind Lil Bub

Hi All,

Daniel, Dario and Uschi here – and this is our first ever post on the LilBUBome blog. We’re three scientists, working in Berlin, Germany and Lyon, France and the LilBUBome is our new pet project. It’s our attempt to sequence the genome of Lil Bub, the cutest internet celebrity cat ever.

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This is Lil Bub. She’s an amazingly cute cat living in Bloomington, Indiana, who has thousands of fans and followers across the globe. She has a unique combination of traits and we are looking for the scientific basis of these traits to find out what makes her so special.

To sequence is shorthand for saying that we want to determine the sequence of letters that make up the DNA of Lil Bub. DNA is the material of inheritance that all living organisms – including Lil Bub – have in their cells and which determines the way we look. And so, by determining the sequence of letters that are specific to Lil Bub we are hoping to find information that will explain what makes her so special.

This might sound crazy (it still does to us sometimes), but actually the project is firmly rooted in science. We’ll tell you more about that later, we promise. In fact, the LilBUBome is a science project that we want to share with you: we’ll explain about the origins of the project, detail our progress and share our results as we go along. We want you to be part of the project – you can sign up for blog updates or follow us on twitter and facebook, and feel free to give us feedback or ask questions!

However, to accomplish all of the above we will need your help. Sequencing is not cheap, and to cover the costs we will launch a crowdfunding campaign in February. So the LilBUBome is not only a science project – it’s a crowdfunded science project, For us, this is a first, and we don’t really know what to expect. What we do know, is that we’ll make this project as open as possible throughout it’s duration, to return the trust that our supporters will place in us. All the rest, we’ll take as it comes.

We are very excited about the coming weeks and months, wishing that the LilBUBome will be a success, and also hoping you will join us for the ride!

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