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China's First Genotype ID Card Comes Out in Wuhan
Hubei Province's first "genotype ID card" was born recently in the Zhongnan (Central-south) Hospital Gene Diagnostic Center under Wuhan University. This ID card, which can distinguish the certificate-holder from the world's other 6 billion people, is so far China's first genotype ID card with 18 genetic locus.

This color genotype ID card, about twice the size of ordinary ID card, has on it data such as photo, birth date, nationality and gender. In particular it is marked with 18 internationally used genetic locus which are chosen from the long chain of human cytogenetic information carrier DNA molecules. In the combination of the 18 genetic locus, with the exception of one egg giving birth to twins, it is difficult for one to find out such a circumstance wherein two persons out of 10 billion people are completely the same.

Professor Zhou Xin, director of the genetic diagnostic center, said that among the world's 6 billion people, there possibly exist persons who are identical with you in birthday and name, similar in looks and same in voice, but only gene is the immutable indication representing your own hereditary feature.

It is reported that the genotype ID card is divided into two categories: infantile type and adult type. On it are the certificate-holder's photo, name, gender, birth date, nationality and the names of his or her parents, the 18 STR locus gene somatotype (includes sex gene) and blood group. However, the gene somatotype is not the same thing as what is currently called human genetic engineering, it contains only individual discerning function and has not much to do with the worries about disease and the "exposure of genetic defect". The test data for handling genotype ID card can be any human body's histocyte, such as blood (needing only one drop), hair (with ball top), skeleton, tooth, muscle and skin.

As regards the role of this kind of ID card, it is still hard for experts to predict, but under certain circumstances, it is the most authoritative basis for using it for individual discernment and parent-offspring identification, its rate of accuracy reaches 99.996 percent and beyond, obviously, it can play an irreplaceable role.

(People's Daily June 20, 2002)

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