Moscow State University has secured Russia’s largest-ever scientific grant to collect the DNA of every living and extinct creature on the planet, The Russia Today news outlet reported last week. RT claims that the collection will be the world’s first database of its kind.“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,” RT quoted MSU rector Viktor Sadivnichy as saying. The gigantic ‘ark’, set to be completed by 2018, will be 430 sq km in size, and will be built at one of the university’s central campuses, according to the report. “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 said. “If it’s realized, this will be a leap in Russian history as the first nation to create an actual Noah’s Ark of sorts,” the rector added.