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Wellcome Trust's Plan to Expand Genome Center Rejected by Government

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HINXTON, UK--The UK government has turned down the Wellcome Trust's proposal to build a £100 million addition to its genome research center here, according to a report in the August 26 issue of Nature. The action followed a struggle between the foundation and government planning officials over the development of the site, which is where the Sanger Centre for gene sequencing, the European Bioinformatics Institute, and the Human Genome Mapping Project Resource Centre are all located.

The trust would like more room to put more biotech companies next to the researchers to facilitate the commercialization process. However, the local government and residents didn't like the size of the proposed expansion which was viewed as being detrimental to the environment. Opponents contended that nearby science parks already provided enough space for start-up biotech companies.

The trust still has the option of applying for a scaled-back edition which would likely receive planning approval but would not be big enough to allow the growth of biotech companies already there, according to the Nature report.

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