News FocusGenomics

China's Sequencing Powerhouse Comes of Age

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Science  03 Feb 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6068, pp. 516-519
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6068.516

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BGI-Shenzhen has emerged as a genomics superpower. Since its inception in 1999, BGI has focused on developing its sequencing and bioinformatics capabilities while turning to outside teams in crop science, human disease, and microbiology to help define its research objectives. As a result, BGI has become the go-to organization for groups in need of sequencing. BGI has agreed to collaborate to sequence the genomes of 5000 cassava varieties and 10,000 autism patients and family members, and do heaps of sequencing for the international Human Variome Project. And it's looking for partners on its own audacious goal to sequence a million human genomes, a million plant and animal genomes, and a million microbial genomes. BGI is also establishing two sequencing centers in the United States and one in Europe, with more in the offing. The growing web of partnerships is turning BGI into the only genomics enterprise with a global footprint.