Inventures: UC Davis partners with genomics leader for cutting edge lab

12:18 AM, Sep 13, 2013   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - Scientists at UC Davis, in partnership with BGI, a worldwide leader in genomics, are putting the finishing touches on a new state of the art lab.

The collaboration, called BGI Davis, will change the landscape of genomic sciences in California.

"We collaborate on a wide variety of research topics including agriculture, environment," BGI Davis co-director Qiaoning Guan.

BGI is a China based company with labs all over the world. The lab is BGI's second in the United States, located at the UC Davis Medical Center.

The 10,000 square foot lab isn't quite complete. It will take a couple of weeks for all of the equipment to arrive. That includes 20 sequencing machines, which costs half a million dollars each.

"That's really going to be powerhouse of what's going on in the facility," said Dr. Bart Weimer, a professor with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Researchers can perform the latest in cutting edge, next gen sequencing, to unravel the DNA code.

"We are re taking the DNA out of a specific organism," Weimer explained. "Whether plant, animal or human or a microbe."

UC Davis already had a genomics center, but the new partnership with BGI allows them to tackle larger projects and apply for larger grants.

Hopefully that will lead to a critical breakthroughs in food security, and human, animal and environmental health.

"It's broadening the capability of the region to interact with the rest of world," Weimer said.

He said the research could be potentially life changing.

"We already have a couple of projects coming out of here," Weimer added. "First time discoveries in the plant and bacterial area."

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