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Human genomics in China
Date:1/7/2009

nce was largely behind the world development trend for decades. However, in the early 1990s, with the incoming "scientific spring", Chinese life scientists grasped the historical opportunity of HGP to catch up with the world cutting-edge life science and realized a frogleap forward.

For the first time, the concept of "big science" was introduced into the Chinese life science community thanks to HGP. The "big sciences" are grand scientific research programs guided with a comprehensive and long-term objective to tackle the major scientific problems related to the development of human and human society. They aimed to gather important scientific data and to make significant scientific discoveries with the aid of multi-disciplinary studies and integrated technologies. A strong link between big and small sciences was set up, in that in the genomic era, no body doing small science related to molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology won't benefit from the dataset generated by human (and other) genomic studies. For instance, just in Shanghai, biologists engaging in molecular biology studies of mammalian reproductive system, signal transduction, immunology, microbiology, central nerve system, genetic evolution, leukemia pathogenesis and so on, were all somehow involved in genomics work to certain extent. The rise of other molecular "omics" further strengthened the linkage of "big science" and "small science". For such a tremendous impact of this linkage upon life science research and the development of biotechnology, it is truly a revolution.

Human genome study in China initiated a new phase of interdisciplinarity in the history of life science in China. The rise of genomics relied on its integration with other academic disciplines, particularly in the following three areas. First, the integration with technology science has caused several rounds of revolution in DNA sequencing technology in the past 40 years, which
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Contact: Li Jiyuan
life@scichina.org
86-106-401-5399
Science in China Press
Source:Eurekalert

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