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IMCAS Launches World Data Center for Microorganisms
2011-05-18
Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS) launched the WFCC (World Federation for Culture Collection) -MIRCEN (Microbial Resources Centres) World Data Center for Microorganisms (WDCM) on May 17, 2011 in Beijing.

Prof. Sugawara, former president of WDCM, officially transferred the host of WDCM to IMCAS and Dr MA Juncai becomes the new president of WDCM. IMCAS won the bid for hosting WDCM in October, 2010 and will undertake its development in the coming years. It is the first world data center in the field of life sciences settled in China and will help China’s microbial research better involve in international research and promote to establish a data-sharing platform of global microbial resources.

Microbial resources are one of the most important natural resources in the world, which is the scientific basis to support the development of biotechnology and life sciences. Louis Pasteur once stated the importance of microbes “the role of the infinitely small is infinitely large”. For example, they are source of critical metabolites such as antibiotics, enzymes, probiotics, etc. Culture collections are like the libraries of these living microbial materials. A hub which can combine these culture collections in different countries becomes a necessity.

As new president of WDCM, Dr. MA states that his research group plans to do more research on analyzing the function of microbial resources and make the information available in the database.  Although multiple functions of microorganisms have been explored to produce food and medicine, protect environment and transform energy, the functions of a large number of microbes still remain unknown. If their efforts count, research institutes and companies may find it much easier to search for the right microbial resources with the help of WDCM. 

WDCM, the heart of World Federation for Culture Collection (WFCC), once hosted in Australia and Japan, plays as a hub providing a database of microorganisms, analysis of its function and a platform of communication. WFCC is the community of those long term conservation and research facilities that brings together almost 600 collections in 68 countries. It is concerned with collection, authentication, maintenance and distribution of microorganism, cultured cells and all related data and information.

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