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BGI, University of Edinburgh Collaborate on Synthetic Yeast Chromosome

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – BGI today announced an agreement with the University of Edinburgh to synthesize yeast chromosome VII, a project that is worth up to £1 million ($1.7 million).

BGI and the university's researchers will synthesize yeast chromosome VII in the Edinburgh Genome Foundry, which was recently established with funding from the UK government as part of a larger push into the synthetic biology space. The newly announced project is being carried out as part of the International Synthetic Yeast Project started by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to recreate the yeast chromosome, which is widely used in industrial applications.

BGI and the University of Edinburgh will collaborate to gain "strategic advantages in [the] automated synthesis of genomes, meeting the demands for cultivating new synthetic biology industries," BGI said in a statement. The synthesized chromosome will be developed for use in the production of chemicals, energy, and food, it added.

The deal continues a history of collaboration between the parties. Two years ago, they announced a memorandum of understanding to enhance the university's genomics and bioinformatics activities in biomedical research and livestock studies.