Den kinesiska “genom-industrin” är värd att bevaka, i synnerhet BGI-Shenzhen – tidigare Beijing Genomics Institute. Ett reportage i MIT Technology Review presenterar fakta som är värt att tugga på:
Om storskalig sekvensering:
In 2010, with the aid of a $1.58 billion line of credit from China Development Bank, BGI purchased 128 state-of-the-art DNA sequencing machines for about $500,000 apiece. It now owns 156 sequencers from several manufacturers and accounts for some 10 to 20 percent of all DNA data produced globally. So far, it claims to have completely sequenced some 50,000 human genomes—far more than any other group.
The institute employs 4,000 people, as many as a midsize university—1,000 in its bioinformatics division alone. Like Zhao, most are young—the average age is 27—and some sleep in company dormitories. The average salary is $1,500 a month.
A quirky, informal logic governs BGI. That has made it a puzzle to observers; it’s very different from hierarchical Chinese institutions, where credentials and connections can matter most.
According to BGI, its machines generate six terabytes of data each day.
Om amerikansk avundsjuka och protektionism (apropå att BGI vill köpa ett amerikanskt företag):
[Illumina CEO Jay] Flatley cautioned that the Chinese, until now dependent on U.S. machinery, could dominate next-generation technology—and that they could even somehow make “nefarious” use of American DNA data flowing through their computer servers by the terabyte.