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BGI, University of Birmingham Collaborate on Environmental, Human Health Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BGI and the University of Birmingham in the UK today announced a collaboration directed at research on environmental and human health.

Under the terms of the agreement, BGI will place sequencers as well as personnel at an interim joint laboratory to conduct research "that will transform environment and human health." The partners did not provide further specifics about the scientific work to be carried out.

Financial and other terms of the deal were also not disclosed.

According to BGI and the university, the collaboration will provide a research and training center on the campus of the school that integrates approaches in systems biology including DNA sequencing, metabolomics, and bioinformatics. Research will "focus on organism response to environmental change through to disease susceptibility and treatment."

The deal also facilitates PhD level training opportunities for BGI staff and student exchanges between the partners.

Earlier this month, the university announced a new genomics initiative for research into the genetic impact of man-made chemicals that are released into the environment. Today's announcement builds on that investment, BGI and the university said, adding that data resulting from the collaboration will be used to "better protect human and environmental health from chemical pollution and other stressors including climactic change."

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