China is officially opening its first gene bank on Tuesday. This gene bank is said to be the world’s largest gene bank. Here researchers will conduct researches on several different areas with the help of millions of genetic samples.
The base of this extraordinary gene bank is going to be in Shenzhen and there they aim to collect about 300 million genetic samples for research purposes. And currently they are reported to already finish two stages of the process.
The much awaited platform is to domain, manage and utilize the biological samples and genome data of Chinese individualities.
China’s GeneBank project is going to be forth of its kind after similar centers already up and running in US, Japan, and Britain. The GeneBank project has currently 780 million yuan investment fund for first phase and they are going to share research data with the other three centers with the aim of batter development in genetics.
“We hope to make the gene bank China’s, and even the world’s, biggest biological information data center, like Google but in the field of life and health data,” Mei Yonghong, the director of the center quoted.
Cao Yu, who is the principal investigator of the National Center for Protein Science in Shanghai, whispered the bank would function as a library of raw genome data for the advancement of scientists through arrange of fields, particularly medicine, bio medicine, and pharmacology. “Competition in precision medicine in the future will rely on the acquirement and analysis of gene resources,” Mei said.
The data now warehoused in Shenzhen was previously kept at the DNA Data Bank of Japan, National Center for Biotechnology Information in the US, and the European Bioinformatics Institute in Britain.
Cao said it was in China’s nation wide concern to have its own gene bank rather than harboring samples in other nations. “Cooperation is the global trend but it is more secure to preserve data in China since the variations among the genomes from different races could be used in both good and evil ways,” Cao quoted.
The site will include a biological database, a genome editing platform, and samples of living organism as well as 10 million gene samples.
This GeneBank project is largest of its kind and it also will contain library of human body cell samples, animals, plants as well as microorganisms.
Genetic data warehoused includes information on 50,000 genome mutations, databases on birth defects, plants, birds and crops, and cancer data bank with 3,000 samples.
Heaps of refrigerators can stock samples at temperatures as low as minus 200 degrees Celsius, while scientists have access to 150 locally advanced desktop gene sequencing machines and a US$20 million Revolocity machine, named as a “super sequencer”.
Cao said new samples can be unruffled and kept straight but the DNA data of those samples required to be decoded and verified afore being saved at the center.
The GeneBank project will be supported by Beijing Genomics Institute and council of government agencies will administer the project.