Biological samples from wild and zoo animals are valuable sources of genetic material providing a wealth of information that can support conservation management as well as fundamental, biological research.
CryoArks is a partnership project which aims to bring together millions of biological samples held in disconnected collections across zoos, museums and academic collections, into a publicly visible and accessible biobank. As a CryoArks partner, National Museums Scotland is helping to establish the physical infrastructure and protocols required to Biobank genetic material at -80°C.
Biobanks are curated collections of biological samples (such as tissue, blood, serum, DNA, gametes and cell lines) that are collected, preserved and maintained along with their associated data, following international standards and guidelines. CryoArks partners offer physical storage (at both -196°C and -80°C), a searchable database, on-site assistance in archiving sample material, and advice on embedding biobank sample collection during routine veterinary care and fieldwork. In conjunction with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, National Museums Scotland’s Biobank is promoting the benefits and needs of zoological biobanking in the UK to a wide range of audiences across the research and public sectors.