(Yicai Global) Sept. 22 -- The China National Genebank, China's first genebank and the largest comprehensive genebank around the world, opens today in the southeastern city of Shenzhen.
Shenzhen-based BGI, the world's largest genomics research and development institution, was commissioned by the Chinese government to build the China National Genebank in 2011. Total investment in the project is around CNY780 million (USD116.92 million).
This is the world's fourth-largest genebank after the US's NCBI, Europe's EBI and Japan's DDBJ. It is composed of a biology information database, a biology sample resource base and a living body base. It has enough storage capacity for 60PB of genetic information date and 10 million biological samples.
The gene bank also has a cancer database. Data from international cancer organizations will be stored in it and it will have an important significance for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the future, Mr. Xu Xun, president of BGI and executive director of the China National Genebank, told Yicai Global.
The genebank will also build a population database. People from different nationalities and regions have different genetic backgrounds, and thus the incidence of disease and effectiveness of drug use among them may differ. Such data has great significance in practical application as well as technological research.
The first batch of samples placed into the genebank features disease and the diversity of species. After the genebank data goes public, it is expected it will be most visited by medical research professionals.