Chinese gene bank wants to do for biotech what Elon Musk did for space

Digitalisation of gene data is set to revolutionise the health industry. With the world’s largest DNA-sequencing capacity, the Chinese biotech group wants to lead the charge.

It all started with the rice.

In 2002 the paddy fields of China’s Yunnan province were the inspiration behind the cover of scientific journal Science as it published two draft sequences of the rice genome, thanks to breakthrough works by two different groups one based in the US and one in China.

Fourteen years later the China National GeneBank CNGB officially opened in Shenzhen with a design main picture that, again, took inspiration from these rice paddies. The building marked a key step in the development of China’s bio-data, having opted against housing its samples in the three other DNA data centres that existed at the...

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