June 26, 2010 sees the 10th anniversary of the first draft of the human genome. Hundreds of Chinese scientists joined together on that day in a conference in Beijing to celebrate this great event.
On June 26, 2000, the human draft genome was announced by US President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, marking an important and long-awaited milestone in scientific history. China joined the Human Genome Project (HGP) in 1999 as the only developing country among six nations and took 1% of the task. At present China has been acting as an important power in the field of genomics.
During the meeting, scientists overviewed the history of China’s participation in HGP, shared the great achievements of genomics research in the past decade, and discussed the prospects of genome science and technology.
"We actually hitched a ride 10 years ago, but now we must drive ourselves”, said Prof. YU Jun, one of the leaders for the China part of HGP and now the vice-director of Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. With the rapid advancement of genomic technology in the last 10 years, the sequencing cost for a human genome has reduced from 1 billion USD in 13 years to 10,000 USD in a week, and even less. “The individual genome era is coming, and we must get prepared as soon as possible, for example in the development of instrument and the popularization of scientific knowledge”, said YU.
The conference was co-hosted by Beijing Institute of Genomics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Science Popularization Department of the China Association for Science and Technology, and Genetics Society of China. More than 400 experts and graduate students attended the meeting.
52 Sanlihe Rd., Xicheng District,
Beijing, China (100864)