Populations and Genetics: Legal and Socio-Ethical Perspectives

By Bartha Maria Knoppers | Go to book overview

Advances in Science and Progress of Humanity: A
Global Perspective on DNA Sampling

Huanming Yang

Director & Professor, Beijing Genomics Institute/Center of Genomics and Bioinformatics, Chinese Academy ofScience, Beijing, China


1. The Human Genome Project and Chinese Participation

The whole world is ready to celebrate the completion of the human genome sequence map and the 50th anniversary of the publication of the DNA double helix model in April 2003.

The slogan for celebration of the human genome draft sequence on June 26, 2000 was “Decoding the book of life – a milestone in humanity”. What would the slogan for the celebration in 2003 be? I would like to propose: Decoding the Book of Life – Advances in Science and Progress of Humanity”.

The Human Genome Project, based on the discovery of the double helix, does deserve all praise and celebration. It is one of the greatest programs in the history of natural sciences to understand nature and ourselves. It is the first internationally collaborative effort carried out by both developing and developed countries. More significantly, it is the first one with the full ethical, social, and global considerations incorporated from the very beginning.

China was the last contributor formally admitted to the world-wide sequencing effort alongside France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States on September 1, 1999.

Within slightly more than 200 days, starting from almost nothing, Beijing the Genomics Center, together with its collaborators, completed a

Bartha Maria Knoppers (ed.), Populations and Genetics: Legal and Socio-Ethical Perspectives. © 2003 Koninklijke Brill NV. Printed in the Netherlands.

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