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Institute to probe deep-sea life


THE BGI Life Science Research Institute has signed strategic deals with the Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IDSSE, CAS) to collaboratively build a research institute that will probe deep-sea life sciences in Shenzhen on Saturday, SZTV reported.

It was reported that the cooperation would implement China's developmental strategy for the ocean life industries and also help to fulfill Shenzhen's goal of turning itself into a global ocean central city.

The two parties agreed to build a world-class research institute that facilitates joint studies on genomics, physiology and the ecology of deep-sea life. The agreements also shed light on the construction of a branch bank of the China National Gene Bank at the South China Sea, which will provide technological support to the preservation and development of ocean life resources.

Additionally, the two research organizations achieved consensus for collaboratively launching a global initiative that will probe ocean life and aim to guide the international research path of deep-sea life.

Peng Xiaotong, the chief scientist with IDSSE, CAS, said that IDSSE has the advantages of entering and probing the deep ocean while the BGI institute has a great deal of merit in biological talents and technologies. The to-be-built deep-sea research institute will be a combination of both organizations' advantages, said Peng.

The other two objectives of setting up such a research institute are to make technological results practical and to cultivate more talents with comprehensive knowledge of deep-sea life, according to the report.

The CEO of BGI, who is also the director of the BGI Life Science Research Institute, Xu Xun, said that the ocean's most valuable resources are lying 6,000 meters below the surface, where human beings have never set foot.

Xu believes that the cooperation with IDSSE will help mankind further probe into more unknown areas and that the gene resources to be dug out could be useful for cutting-edge technologies, such as synthetic biology.

The report also points out that the ocean economy will become Shenzhen's key development sector for economic growth. With a sea area of 1,145 square kilometers, Shenzhen has a total of 257.3 kilometers of coastline, which makes Shenzhen one of the Chinese cities lying nearest to the deep sea.

In the country's 13th Five-year Plan for the ocean economy, Shenzhen was given the mission of becoming a global ocean city. By 2020, Shenzhen's ocean economy is expected to generate a total of over 60.5 billion yuan (US$9.6 billion) in added value, increasing at an average rate higher than 25 percent.

Source:Shenzhen Daily

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