Species' DNA to be stored at NY museum

July 8, 2009 2:00:00 PM PDT
Frozen DNA samples from endangered species in the nation's parks are being added to a New York City collection to help researchers study and save the animals.Officials of the American Museum of Natural History and the U.S. National Park Service on Tuesday signed an agreement establishing their partnership for the project.

George Amato heads the genomics institute at the Manhattan museum, which was featured in the 2006 Ben Stiller movie "Night at the Museum." He says its underground vats cooled with liquid nitrogen can store 1 million frozen tissue samples.

The first new submissions will be blood samples from foxes in California's Channel Islands National Park, followed by specimens from the American crocodile and the Hawaiian goose.

The DNA samples will provide researchers with genetic materials to analyze and protect hundreds of endangered species.