Although we all hoped the virus outbreak could be contained when the year started off, now we all find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic. Our life is changing and we all have to adapt. Meanwhile, we get to hear the news, densely packed with the coronavirus, the disease it causes, and also: bats. Researchers around the globe are doing our best to quickly understand the virus and its outbreak. Nevertheless, the rush to report and communicate complex scientific results has sometimes led to confusion, mistrust and ultimately even fear and hatred towards bats. This misinformation about bats and the role they may play in the COVID-19 outbreak can only be countered with the best knowledge we can find.
Prof. Dr. Eugene Myers, one of the pioneers of bioinformatics, with the help of Prof. Dr. Emma Teeling and Dr. Sonja Vernes, has been successful in obtaining the support of the Max-Planck Gesellschaft (MPG) for phase 1 of the Bat1K project.
This year, two of our directors, Prof. Liliana M. Dávalos (Stony Brook University) and Prof. David Ray (Texas Tech University), were awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, to investigate “Genomics of exceptions to scaling of longevity to body size”.