Briefing: Genomics company releases largest Chinese genome sequencing data research so far

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南北方6大遗传差异首次被揭示 – People’s Daily

What happened: Shenzhen-listed Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) released a study on Chinese heredity features. The study lasted 2 years, and analyzed over 140,000 samples chosen from BGI’s Noninvasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) takers. Regional immunity difference, physical feature heredity, probability of twin-pregnancy, and patterns of virus infection are investigated. The study results were first published on science journal Cell on October 4, and formally announced in China National GeneBank in Shenzhen on October 10. BGI said this research is the debut of a larger big data gene projects which aims to study over 1 million samples.

Why it’s important: BGI is merely part of the Chinese gene ambition which integrates state power with commercial enterprises. Apart from NIPT, there are channels collecting massive amounts of data acquired by genome analysis startups promising origin trace and cancer probability prediction using saliva. The whole industry chain could be a gigantic gene bank beyond imagination. Additionally, gene study and startups entering the field could help establish a base industry which serves further R&D and development of greater health segments including pathology, drug, health care, and detailed regional welfare plan-making. EdiGene, a Beijing-based gene editing startup aiming to find solutions to cancer and to accelerate targeted drugs’ R&D and trial process, for example, received undislosded hundreds of millions RMB Pre-B financing in August.