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October 12, 2018

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New laws to manage genetic resources

China will set up a new set of regulations on human genetic resources to further protect its national biosafety.

The decision was announced at a forum on human genetic resources development and innovation held in Beijing on Wednesday. It gathered scholars from government organizations, research institutions and universities.

Human genetic resources, which include the human genome, human organs, tissues, cells, blood, and related gene materials and information, are essential for disease research and population’s health.

Zhang Xinmin, director of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development, the forum organizer, said that human genetic resources have become important national strategic resources.

In 1998, China issued the Provisional Regulations on the Management of Genetic Resources, to protect and ensure the rational use of the genetic resources for the well-being of human beings.

Zhang suggested the new management regulations should focus on a balance between the protection and development of such resources.

Zhou Qi, director of the Institute of Zoology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that more authoritative and effective evaluation agencies should also be established to improve the resources management.

Others also suggested that better management of human genetic resources should be supported by science and technological innovation, and studies in gene and biomedicine should be strengthened.


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