国家基因库National Gene Bank
After five years of committed effort, China announced the opening of its first national gene bank in September 2016. The institution is the largest of its kind and the fourth in the world after the National Center for Biotechnology Information of the United States, DNA Data Bank of Japan, and European Bioinformatics Institute.
Contrasting its three forerunners, the National Gene Bank of China (NGBC) features not only data preservation but also sample storage. It has been reported that NGBC has established ties with many foreign institutions, including state-level natural history museums, and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. In the future, it will serve as a platform for public services and open its sample and data resources to various parties in accordance with relevant rules.
As far as human DNA is concerned, NGBC mainly preserves samples of blood and tissues as well as cells and urine, and provides sample support for the prospective study of serious diseases, laying a solid foundation for diagnosis, prediction and personalized medical services.
In terms of non-human resources, the bank primarily stores tissues and cells of rare animals of great economic value. It also preserves plant, marine and microbial resources in an effort to collect all information that could be valuable for future research.
“We want to build the world’s largest database for biological information—like a Google for life health data,” declared Mei Yonghong, director of the NGBC.
It’s hard to beat the magic of a boat cruise down an ancient waterway alongside fishermen rowing into the setting sun. Waterfront houses with flower gardens greet passersby navigating under crescentshaped bridges crossing the canal as dusk engulfs the final moments of the day.
Such a spectacle heralded the beginning of my summer journey through a wonderland of traditional Chinese crafts, museums and folklore in Wuzhen.
A wooden house facing the water caught my attention, reminding me of a navigational canal called Nallah Maar that my grandfather often mentioned in his tales. That canal, which was the lifeline of old Srinagar, connected a lagoon to the famous Dal Lake.
Archived images of the canal show tourists flocking to the waterway and boatmen offering rides on the crystal clear water past rows of old Persian style houses with flowerbeds.
Stories of the canal, which was gone by the time I was born, mesmerized me as a child. My stroll through Wuzhen awoke those childhood memories that had long been hidden under a pillow.
Located at the center of the six ancient towns south of the Yangtze River, 17 kilometers north of the city of Tongxiang, Wuzhen displays China’s history via ancient stone bridges, stone pathways and delicate wood carvings.
Renowned Chinese writer Mao Dun was born in Wuzhen, and his best-known work, Lin’s Shop, describes the life in the town.
Wuzhen is divided into six traditional districts: workshops, local-styled houses, culture, food and beverage, shops and