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October 31, 2016, Shenzhen, China— BGI announced that it joins the International Gene Synthesis Consortium (IGSC). BGI will dedicate to promoting rapid development in gene/genome synthesis technology, and value the social responsibility to the community by implementing stringent guidelines to ensure biosecurity of gene synthesis technology and minimize risk.
IGSC aims to unite all the gene synthesis organizations to develop a standard and completed workflow for screening the sequences of ordered genes and vetting customers, in order to ensure that science and industry realize the many benefits of gene synthesis technology while minimizing risk.
Dr. Hongqi Wang, the general manager of BGI Genomics DNA synthesis department, said, “The decreasing cost and expanding scale of gene synthesis attracts more and more attention on synthetic biology, which may also raise concerns over potential risk of technology on biosecurity. BGI hopes that, through joining IGSC, we could share our screening pipeline to other cooperative partners, and make best efforts for assisting the sustainable development of the whole industry.”
Dr. Yue Shen, the group leader of Synthesis and Editing platform at China National GeneBank said, “DNA synthesis has a great potential. However, in China, the attention on its corresponding biosafety issues is insufficient. The main reason BGI joins IGSC is that we wish DNA synthesis and its products are always used for the benefit of mankind. BGI hopes to make an alliance with other members to create a safe environment for DNA synthesis.”
Todd Peterson, the current Chairman of the IGSC Board and Chief Technology Officer of Synthetic Genomics Incorporated, explained, “We expect organizations involved in gene synthesis across the globe will be benefit from the biosecurity screening processes and expertise of our membership. The IGSC is pleased to have BGI as one of our member and we believe the enormous genomics sequencing data of BGI can help other partners to optimize the screening protocols.”
The IGSC is a non-profit organization that founded in 2009 by the world's leading gene synthesis companies in order to advance biosecurity across the industry. The IGSC’s goals are (a) to educate gene synthesis companies and the public regarding sequence and customer screening of synthetic gene orders; (b) to identify and prevent the unauthorized synthesis and sale of inappropriate sequences; and (c) to coordinate development of ongoing best practices. IGSC candidates are required to pass strict examination and other test procedures to be an official member of IGSC.