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With BGI There

BGI's Wang Jian predicts genome sequencing will be more widespread and help guide not only medical decisions, but also diet and maybe even also choosing a life partner and that BGI will be a key part of that, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

It adds that BGI has grown from a state-back entity to company with numerous units and has plans to not only make sequencers, but offer prenatal tests, forensic applications, and more. It is considering, according to Businessweek, sequencing the genome of every baby born in Shenzhen, a city of about 10 million people.

But Businessweek notes that BGI has to grapple with privacy and regulatory concerns as well as suspicion regarding Chinese firms. That view, Wang tells Businessweek is partially due to jealousy, but also reflects criticism commonly hurled at newcomers. "When people grow up and get big muscles, the older brother's not happy with that," he says. "After World War II, European people looked at the Americans and said the same thing —'You cowboys.' "

Businessweek adds that, in Wang's view, genomics and its applications will raise a number of ethical and other questions, but that "whatever the moral complexities, we'll be healthier with genomics than without it."