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Maybe a Watson Center?

A proposed large research center in China may bear Nobel laureate James Watson's name, though Science reports Watson isn't sure it will get built.

A rendering of the Cheerland-Watson Center for Life Sciences and Technology was present at a recent event in Shenzen that Watson attended along with local officials and other guests, it adds. CheerLand Investment Group, Science notes, is funding the push for the center. According CheerLand's Liu Ruyin, the institute is modeled after Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, it to start operations within a year, and eventually house 1,000 researchers.

But Watson tells Science that he came away from the event with worries. "I left Shenzhen rather pessimistic that the institute would ever be built," he tells Science. It adds that while Shenzhen has given the institute land rights, other funding from the city hasn't been forthcoming.

Fu Xinyuan, a biochemist at the Southern University of Science and Technology, tells Science, though, that Watson's expectations were high. Watson adds that he will continue to work with CheerLand.

Watson also turns 90 today, Newsday reports, and CSHL is planning a series of series of scientific talks tomorrow in celebration.

"I don't think that Dr. Watson and his colleagues could have imagined how far we would go when they were doing their early research, or whether they would have conceived of DNA [research] being accessible to the general public," one of the speakers Ellen Jorgensen, president and founder of Biotech Without Borders tells Newsday. "It's kind of mind-blowing how far we've come."