China is mapping out development strategies for gene research in the coming five years, sources with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said Thursday.
The sources, who declined to be identified, said that priorities are to be given to the research on human functional genes which have great bearing on the birth, aging, illness and death of human beings, and the research on sequencing of the genome of biological resources which are especially vital to China.
The CAS official disclosed that the Ministry of Science and Technology has drafted a plan on biotechnology research in the next five years. The draft plan has been presented to experts for deliberation.
China will, in the future, devote massive manpower and material resources to the research of human functional genes, with the aim of exploring the pathogenesis of fatal diseases and find out the best ways to treat them, according to the official.
Chinese scientists will also continue to use the information obtained by the Human Genome Project in their research of the evolution process of the Chinese nation, and even the whole mankind.
It is predicted that China will continue with the research on and sequencing of the genome of a dozen key biological resources, including wild rice, rape and pigs, to improve the quality of these crops and domestic animals.
CAS Academician Chen Zhu, who made outstanding contributions to the human genome research, said that China, as a developing country which boasts rich human genetic resources, should attach great importance to the research of human functional genes and nosogenic genes, and make it the most important task of China's human genome research.
Chen was appointed vice president of the CAS at the end of last year to lead CAS conducting biological research.
Doctor Han Zeguang, with the Nanfang Center under the National Human Genome Project, said that they and the biology center of the Peking University are considering launching structural biology research, so as to analyze the three-dimensional structure of protein.
(People’s Daily 02/16/2001)