(Yicai Global) Oct. 9 -- Genetic engineering will bring more benefits to humankind, said James Watson, one of the co-discoverers of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), adding that Chinese are very gifted at scientific research, and he is keen to collaborate with China’s companies and organizations to advance genetic technological development and ultimately find a cure for cancer by combining top world scientists with the remarkable efficiency of Chinese partners, state-run Xinhua news agency recently reported.
The American biologist won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 as a co-discoverer of DNA double helix structure.
Dr. Watson is in his late 80s. His biggest dreams are to work out a plan to end cancer, and to develop drugs that are affordable for ordinary people, he says.
To these ends, he has been working with related parties to build a life sciences center named after him in Dapeng New Town in Shenzhen, in southeastern Guangdong province, the Cheerland-Watson Center for Life Sciences and Technology. The center will have cancer and genetic engineering laboratories developed based on the Cold Spring Harbor model, he added. It will become a world-class center for life sciences research with more than 1,000 scientists in five years, and worldwide scientist recruitment is currently underway.
Shenzhen offers all the basic elements -- good air quality, a favorable investment environment, necessary facilities and productivity -- to make his dreams come true, Watson noted. The key now is to create an atmosphere suitable for attracting life scientists from all around the globe.
About 15 percent of life scientists in major American research institutes are Chinese, Watson said. He hopes that Chinese scientists will become the backbone of the life sciences center in Shenzhen, and China’s strong chemical and pharmaceutical industry foundation will facilitate the development of cancer drugs that affordable ordinary people can afford.