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BGI to Partner with JHU on Synthetic Yeast Project

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BGI will collaborate with Johns Hopkins University on a research project to engineer and develop synthetic yeast, BGI said today at its 6th International Conference on Genomics in Shenzhen, China.

Under the collaborative research agreement, the partnership will support JHU's SC2.0 Project, an effort to re-design and synthesize the genome of the S. cerevisiae yeast species. BGI's researchers will also gain access to JHU's synthetic biology expertise and attend its "Build-a-Genome" course.

Synthetic yeast can be used to study questions about the properties of chromosomes, genome organization, gene content, the function of RNA splicing, and genome structure and evolution.

“With JHU’s valuable skill, experience, and ability in the research of synthetic biology, we believe we can achieve significant breakthroughs in the future study of synthetic biology," BGI Chairman Huanming Yang said in a statement.

“As the first artificial eukaryotic cell genome project, SC2.0 Project will play a significant role in the history of the development of biotechnology. With the rapid development of next-generation sequencing technology, I believe we can seek much better solutions to face the challenges in synthetic biology,” added Yue Shen, head of BGI's synthetic biology unit.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.