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Human genomics in China
Date:1/7/2009

na was, instead, to participate in the International Rice Genome Project led by Japan. The reasons behind were obvious. First of all, for China, the largest developing country of the world, food security is of the primary concern and rice is the major staple food for Chinese people. Second, rice, a diploid crop, with its relatively small genome size (about 400 Mb), is a nice model of the monocotyledon plants. Third, over the years, the Chinese scientists had accumulated a great deal of experiences in the basic and applied research of rice, and achieved significant progress in rice breeding and physiology studies, particularly, for the hybrid rice, a model of "Green Revolution". Inspired by these ideas, both the central and the Shanghai municipal governments supported the DNA sequencing expert HONG Guo-Fan, who just returned back to China from Sanger's laboratory, to initiate the rice genome project in 1992 and the Chinese efforts in rice genome sequencing and research were thus, set out on its long journey.

Meanwhile, the far-sighted Chinese medical geneticists were still promoting the initiation of a human genome project in China. Academician WU Min, at that time, the director of the Department of Life Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), strongly recommended the NSFC committee to initiate some major projects for human genome research. His efforts were supported by the academician LIANG Dong-Cai, Deputy Director of the NSFC Committee and of the Department of Life Sciences, and thus, the first major human genome project in China was funded to study the genetic variations among the 56 Chinese nationalities. Meanwhile, the Chinese scientists working in the field of medical genetics gradually accepted the concept of genomics, and by applying the genomics technology, they carried out a series of research and made significant breakthroughs in the study and identification of disease associated genes, pa
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Contact: Li Jiyuan
life@scichina.org
86-106-401-5399
Science in China Press
Source:Eurekalert

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