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Updates on BGI’s developments in research, education and industry.

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Public Health

BGI has a history of providing timely technical support at the front line during public health crisis. By applying cutting-edge omics technology, we decipher pathogenic genomes, carry out mutation monitoring and research on pathogenic genomes, develop diagnostic kits and propose response plans. BGI supports clinical diagnosis and treatment and tackling scientific problems at time of public health crisis.

  • BGI’s “Unstoppable” Efforts to Help the Global Community Fight Public Health Emergencies

    “Unstoppable” is the theme of the 74th World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. Driven by the mission of “OMICS FOR ALL”, B... Learn details

    “Unstoppable” is the theme of the 74th World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. Driven by the mission of “OMICS FOR ALL”, BGI has always been playing an active role in global public health incidents and major natural disaster reliefs. From SARS to COVID-19, the passionate BGIers have charged into various battlefields around the world without hesitation, forming an “unstoppable” force for the well-being of humanity.



    2003
    The Fight Against SARS

    In 2003, the SARS epidemic broke out. Motivated by a strong sense of social responsibility, BGI completed the whole genome sequencing of four strains of the SARS virus in just 36 hours and developed a virus detection kit in 96 hours. BGI also donated 300,000 virus detection kits to the National Headquarters for SARS Prevention and Control in China.



    2004
    The Indian Ocean Tsunami Rescue



    On December 26th, 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami engulfed Thailand, leading to more than 200,000 deaths. As a major global tourism destination, many of those who died were foreign national tourists, posing a challenge for resource-strapped local officials to identify the victims.


    On December 30th, BGI sent a DNA identification team to the tsunami-struck areas in Thailand and identified more than a thousand DNA samples of the tsunami victims. This was the first time that China sent DNA identification professionals overseas to support an international rescue mission.

    The then Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra expressed his gratitude to BGI for the outstanding work in helping local efforts in this major disaster.


    2008

    Supported Wenchuan Earthquake Rescue Efforts




    On May 18th, 2008, six days after the “5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake”, BGI dispatched an Earthquake Disaster Relief Task Force led by BGI Co-founder and Chairman Wang Jian to the disaster area in Sichuan, China to assist the post-disaster infectious diseases detection and epidemic prevention.


    Major natural disasters are often followed by the risk of epidemics. In the disaster area, the task force not only provided surveillance for major infectious diseases but also built up a detection system for disease prevention and control. BGI employees also donated money and materials to support some of the victims of the earthquake.

    With the joint efforts of BGI and other rescue forces, no epidemics broke out during the disaster relief period. Local people affected by the disaster publicly expressed their gratitude to the volunteers who came from all over the country. 


    2011

    Decoding Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia Coli (EHEC) 



    In May 2011, the Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia Coli (EHEC) epidemic broke out in Germany, which infected thousands of people and resulted in multiple deaths. Finding the source of infection as fast as possible to provide treatment became the top priority for local health officials.


    On May 27th, BGI received samples for an emergency test from Germany. On June 2nd, BGI completed the genome sequencing and published the data. On June 7th, BGI successfully developed the diagnostic kit for this disease and disclosed all the scientific data and information to the international communities for free, laying an important scientific foundation that helped to speed up the control of this epidemic.

    On July 28th, a research paper on the EHEC epidemic was published on the world-renowned New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) , which was prepared by an international research team by BGI-Research, the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) , the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and other institutions.


    2014

    Support Ebola Virus Detection in Africa



    In late 2014, Ebola struck back in West Africa. To help control the Ebola outbreak and contain its spread, BGI offered sequencing equipment and testing reagent for free and dispatched a team of professionals to the capital of Sierra Leone to assist the China disease control team with samples testing, technical support, and training. In addition, BGI successfully developed a rapid Ebola detection reagent and built an Ebola virus mutation monitoring platform, which contributed greatly to local epidemic prevention and control.



    2020

    Contributed to the Frontline Fight Against COVID-19



    The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in early 2020 rapidly became a truly global public health emergency, and its infectious nature made it difficult to prevent and control. In the initial stages of the outbreak, BGI participated in pathogen research and provided technical support for the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. By January 14, 2020, BGI announced that it had only taken 72 hours to complete the R&D of the SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid detection kit. 


    With urgent demand to test and detect the pandemic globally, BGI's SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid detection kits (Fluorometric Real-time PCR) received approval for use from multiple countries, which includes the CE IVD approval of the EU, the EUA approval of the U.S. FDA, the PMDA approval of Japan, the TGA approval of Australia, the temporary HSA approval of Singapore, the approval of Health Canada, and Brazilian ANVISA certification. Also, the kit was listed in the emergency use listing (EUL) of the World Health Organization (WHO). As of December 31st, 2020, BGI’s SARS-CoV-2 detection products had been distributed to more than 180 countries and regions.

    On top of this, based on its laboratory experience accumulated over the years, BGI creates an integrated high-throughput nucleic acid testing laboratory solution - the “Huo-Yan” Laboratory - in just five days to cope with the rising demands for COVID-19 testing. As of today, more than 80 Huo-Yan Laboratories have been set up in nearly 30 countries and regions worldwide, which guarantees a total throughput of one million tests per day. In 2020, more than 2,000 BGIers had participated in the international fight against COVID-19, including nearly 1,000 BGIers who helped to build up the local Huo-Yan Laboratories overseas. BGI provides training for local lab professionals and handed the lab over to locals when the training was finished.


    18 years ago, BGI began its journey on defending the health of humanity in the dark hour for the first time; 18 years later, BGI is still at the frontline fighting against the invisible enemies for the global population. The fight is not yet over, and BGI’s action will continue and be unstoppable.


  • Wenchuan Earthquake Relief Mission

    On May 18th, 2008, six days after the “5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake”, BGI dispatched an Earthquake Disaster Relief Task Forc... Learn details

    On May 18th, 2008, six days after the “5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake”, BGI dispatched an Earthquake Disaster Relief Task Force led by BGI Co-founder and Chairman Wang Jian to the disaster area in Sichuan, China to assist the post-disaster infectious diseases detection and epidemic prevention. In the disaster area, the task force not only provided surveillance for major infectious diseases but also built up a detection system for disease prevention and control. BGI employees also donated money and materials to support some of the victims of the earthquake.


    With the joint efforts of BGI and other rescue forces, no epidemics broke out during the disaster relief period. Local people affected by the disaster publicly expressed their gratitude to the volunteers who came from all over the country. 

  • H7N9

    Chinese Health Authority’s data shows as of 5 p.m. April 6th, 2013, a total of 18 H7N9 cases have been reported in the c... Learn details

    Chinese Health Authority’s data shows as of 5 p.m. April 6th, 2013, a total of 18 H7N9 cases have been reported in the country including six fatalities. Since the occurrence of human infection of the H7N9 avian influenza, BGI actively participated in the study of the virus and immediately opened an emergency channel to respond as quickly as possible. BGI has established a rapid detection platform which can detect samples accurately within 36 hours. BGI has also built a Genome Database of influenza and major infectious diseases to respond timely to a variety of public health emergencies.
  • Decoding Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia Coli (EHEC)

    In 2011, in response to EHEC outbreaks in Germany, BGI completed genome sequencing of the pathogen within five days and ... Learn details

    In May 2011, the Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia Coli (EHEC) epidemic broke out in Germany, which infected thousands of people and resulted in multiple deaths. Finding the source of infection as fast as possible to provide treatment became the top priority for local health officials.


    On May 27th, BGI received samples for an emergency test from Germany. On June 2nd, BGI completed the genome sequencing and published the data. On June 7th, BGI successfully developed the diagnostic kit for this disease and disclosed all the scientific data and information to the international communities for free, laying an important scientific foundation that helped to speed up the control of this epidemic.


    On July 28th, a research paper on the EHEC epidemic was published on the world-renowned New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) , which was prepared by an international research team by BGI-Research, the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) , the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and other institutions.

    The E. coli Research Paper Published on New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)

  • The Indian Ocean Tsunami Relief

    On December 30th, BGI sent a DNA identification team to the tsunami-struck areas in Thailand and identified more than a ... Learn details

    On December 26th, 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami engulfed Thailand, leading to more than 200,000 deaths. As a major global tourism destination, many of those who died were foreign national tourists, posing a challenge for resource-strapped local officials to identify the victims.


    On December 30th, BGI sent a DNA identification team to the tsunami-struck areas in Thailand and identified more than a thousand DNA samples of the tsunami victims. This was the first time that China sent DNA identification professionals overseas to support an international rescue mission.


    The then Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra expressed his gratitude to BGI for the outstanding work in helping local efforts in this major disaster.


  • The Fight Against SARS

    In 2003, BGI completed whole genome sequencing of four strains of the SARS virus in just 36 hours, developed a virus det... Learn details

    In 2003, the SARS epidemic broke out. Motivated by a strong sense of social responsibility, BGI completed the whole genome sequencing of four strains of the SARS virus in just 36 hours and developed a virus detection kit in 96 hours. BGI also donated 300,000 virus detection kits to the National Headquarters for SARS Prevention and Control in China.


  • Ya'an Earthquake

    The 7.0-magnitude earthquake jolting Ya'an City in southwest China's Sichuan Province on April 20th, 2013, has... Learn details

    The 7.0-magnitude earthquake jolting Ya'an City in southwest China's Sichuan Province on April 20th, 2013, has resulted in serious damages and casualties. At this critical moment, BGI hopes to help the affected areas and make a contribution. BGI announced to provide free technical services for the earthquake-stricken areas, including disease surveillance, emergency pathogenic microorganisms detection, casualty identification, HLA(Human Leukocyte Antigen) matching detection of the injured people, and the first batch of 10 million doses of blood transfusion safety and pathogen detection diagnostic reagents. H7N9
Public Health

BGI cares about people's livelihood and health, and has organized or participated in large-scale public welfare activities to provide health assistance to vulnerable groups and contribute to improving people’s health.

  • Free HLA Matching Services for Medium to Severe Thalassemia Patients in Maoming City

    On August 9th, Hua Fund (a charity fund BGI co-founded) in collaboration with Maoming City Health and Family Planning Bu... Learn details

    On August 9th, Hua Fund (a charity fund BGI co-founded) in collaboration with Maoming City Health and Family Planning Bureau, Maoming City Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Guangdong Provincial Ministry of Land and Resources Volunteer Service Corps and Ming Ai Corps Star Volunteer Service Team, held a ceremony to kick off a public welfare program to offer “Free HLA Matching services for Medium and Heavy Thalassemia Patients in Maoming City”. The program has provided free matching tests for 73 families including a total of 219 people for the medium and severe thalassaemia patients in Maoming City, which also forms part of Maoming City government’s Thalassaemia prevention and treatment program.
  • The New Thalassemia Theme Charity Event

    On May 8th, the 25th "International Thalassemia Day", "Shenzhen Radio and Television Public Welfare Foundation·Hua Fund ... Learn details

    On May 8th, the 25th "International Thalassemia Day", "Shenzhen Radio and Television Public Welfare Foundation·Hua Fund Public Welfare Fund" (hereinafter referred to as "Hua Fund"), Guangdong Province Thalassemia Prevention Association, and Southern Medical University Southern Hospital launched a new thalassemia themed charity event in Guangzhou South Hospital, providing free on-site matching services for families with severe thalassaemia, expert consultations, and public lectures.
  • Visiting Cervical Cancer Patients

    On August 17th, BGI Genomics’Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Project representatives visited Gong Yan, a single... Learn details

    On August 17th, BGI Genomics’Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Project representatives visited Gong Yan, a single mother who has cervical cancer in Wuhu City First People's Hospital of, Wuhu City, Anhui Province, and offered her and her family and friends financial assistance and a BGI SeqHPV Cervical Cancer Self-test card.
  • Litchi Sisters

    On June 23rd, Hua Fund worked with Shenzhen Radio Pioneer 898 to raise social awareness to two young sisters who suffer... Learn details

    On June 23rd, Hua Fund worked with Shenzhen Radio Pioneer 898 to raise social awareness to two young sisters who suffer from Thalassaemia in Shenzhennicknamed“Litchi Little Sisters”– Junjun and Yaoyao, and launched a joint aid program to call for help for the sisters.
  • Hua Fund Establishment Conference

    On March 21st, Hua Fund is a special fund under the Shenzhen Radio and Television Public Welfare Foundation. It was init... Learn details

    On March 21st, Hua Fund is a special fund under the Shenzhen Radio and Television Public Welfare Foundation. It was initiated by Shenzhen Radio and Television Public Welfare Foundation and BGI Genomics to offer aid to severe thalassemia and Leukemia patients, and public welfare and scientific education activities related to diagnosis and prevention of rare diseasesthe. Hua Fund started at RMB500,000, mainly from donations by BGI’s executive management and shareholders. Hua Fund announced that it will permanently perform HLA matching services for children with severe acute anemia worldwide for free.

  • "Cervical Cancer, Please Stay Away from Them" Charity Event

    In September, the Cervical and Breast Cancer Working Group launched a “Cervical Cancer, Please Stay Away from Them” char... Learn details

    In September, the Cervical and Breast Cancer Working Group launched a “Cervical Cancer, Please Stay Away from Them” charity project, aiming to offer cervical cancer screening for women in poverty-stricken areas through public welfare. After the project was launched, it has received widespread social reactions. More people become aware of the disease, and willing to offer help.。


    The Cervical and Breast Cancer Working Group has raised a total of RMB10,000 for two patients on the “9.9 Charity Day” , The two patients were grateful to the government’s cancer screening program for saving their lives and giving them hope for a happy life. They also thanked the working group and people’s kindness .

  • "Caring for Women, Staying Away from Two Cancers" Women's Health Public Welfare Scientific Education Activities

    “Caring for women, stay away from Two Cancers” Women's Health Public Welfare Science Program, led by Shenzhen Mater... Learn details

    “Caring for women, stay away from Two Cancers” Women's Health Public Welfare Science Program, led by Shenzhen Maternal and Children’s Health Hospital, and co-organized by Shenzhen Women Entrepreneurs Association, Shenzhen Women's Medical Association, Shenzhen Women and Children's Development Foundation, Shenzhen Radio and Television Public Welfare Foundation, and BGI, have organized activities in a number of organizations and communities including Dacheng Law Firm, Chow Tai Fook Jewelry, Wan Gu Group, Bus Group and Shenzhen University since November.

  • Shenzhen Women Stay Away from Two Cancers Initiative

    On November 19th, BGI, in collaboration with Shenzhen Women Entrepreneurs Association, Shenzhen Women's Physician A... Learn details

    On November 19th, BGI, in collaboration with Shenzhen Women Entrepreneurs Association, Shenzhen Women's Physician Association, Shenzhen Women and Children's Development Foundation, and Shenzhen Radio and Television Public Welfare Foundation jointly launched the Shenzhen Women's Away from Two Cancer Initiative, forming“Stay Away from Two Cancers Working Group". The initiative aims to achieve "early prevention, early detection and early treatment" of two cancers through genetic testing, imaging examination and regular "two cancers" public education, to raise awareness among population and protect women's health.

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  • "Zi Qi Plan" (Pan Ziqi, a young child suffering from mucopolysaccharidosis)

    On June 24th, BGI launched the “Ziqi Plan” which is part of BGI’s Using Genomics Technology to TreatRare Diseases Progra... Learn details

    On June 24th, BGI launched the “Ziqi Plan” which is part of BGI’s Using Genomics Technology to TreatRare Diseases Program, providing free HLA bone marrow matching testing services for 100 mucopolysaccharidosis patients. The Plan enables the public to further understand the relationship between genes and health, raises the society's awareness of rare disease patients, and contributes to using technologies to benefit rare diseases patients.


    Following “Chunshu”’s (Uncle Chun, a nickname for Zhang Erchun a BGI employee who donated stem cells to a thalassemia patient) altruism and kindness, BGI launched the "Chun Shu Plan" which provides free HLA matching services and genetic counselling for 100 thalassemia patients.


  • BGI launched the “Millions of families away from genetic birth defects” program

    On July 8, BGI announced in Beijing that it would launch the “10 million families away from genetic birth defects” progr... Learn details

    On July 8, BGI announced in Beijing that it would launch the “10 million families away from genetic birth defects” program. The program has launched a series of "technical public welfare" projects for rare diseases, including the "Ziqi Plan" for patients with mucopolysaccharidosis, the "Spring Uncle Plan" for thalassemia and the "Xiaoming Plan" for ichthyosis.

  • HLA High-resolution Genotyping Service

    On January 8th, BGI has received 30 child patients for HLA high-resolution genotyping testing in Huizhou. Learn details

    On January 8th, BGI has received 30 child patients for HLA high-resolution genotyping testing in Huizhou.

  • The Chinese Red Cross Society awarded BGI Research (now "BGI Life Science Research") the Red Cross medal - the highest honor of the Red Cross.

    On January 25th, the Chinese Red Cross Society awarded BGI Research (now "BGI Life Science Research") the Red Cross meda... Learn details

    On January 25th, the Chinese Red Cross Society awarded BGI Research (now "BGI Life Science Research") the Red Cross medal - the highest honor of the Red Cross.

  • "Love is Flowing" Large-scale Public Welfare Program

    On February 28th, the “Love is Flowing” large-scale public welfare program jointly initiated by the National Population ... Learn details

    On February 28th, the “Love is Flowing” large-scale public welfare program jointly initiated by the National Population and Family Planning Commission and the China Population Welfare Foundation was first launched in Guangdong. An advocate for people’s health, BGI donated 100,000 HPV testing services, worth of RMB¥6 million, to the people in poverty, . The China Population Welfare Foundation commended BGI and issued a Certificate of Honor.


    In the same year, the Heshan Municipal Government in Guangdong Province launched the “HPV Screening for Cervical Cancer Program for 100,000 Heshan Women ”, using the highly effective screening model -voluntary community screening service without relying on doctors + self-sampling of the subject + sample preservation card + HPV high-throughput gene sequencing technology. It has become the first demonstration site for cervical cancer screening and early detection for the rest of the country.


  • Thalassemia Rescue Project

    On November 15th, at the Shenzhen High-Tech Fair’s press conference, BGI and the Shenzhen Red Cross signed an agreement... Learn details

    On November 15th, at the Shenzhen High-Tech Fair’s press conference, BGI and the Shenzhen Red Cross signed an agreement to jointly carry out the Thalassemia Rescue Project.


    In the same year, BGI donated RMB¥43 million to the China Bone Marrow Bank and assisted in the completion of HLA high-resolution sequencing of 90,000 human samples.


  • Preventative Oncology International (POI) Cooperates with BGI and Peking University Shenzhen Hospital

    The US-based oncology research organization Preventative Oncology International (POI) forms collaboration with BGI and P... Learn details

    The US-based oncology research organization Preventative Oncology International (POI) forms collaboration with BGI and Peking University Shenzhen Hospital using MALDI-TOF HPV detection on BGI’s high-throughput PCR platform in the well-known Shenzhen Cervical Cancer Prevention Research Project II (SHENCCAST II) to study and compare large volumes of clinical samples taken by a doctor and samples conducted by the patients.

    The results confirm that the MALDI-TOF self-conducted sample test results have the same effect on the sensitivity and specificity as the results of the HC-2 doctor's sample test, with no significant difference. This technology solves the conventional issues e.g. reliance on seeing a doctor for a cervical cancer screening, and low-throughput but high-detection-cost sampling and screening techniques. It makes it possible for the patients to take their own samples, and the test centers to larger volumes of samples using high-throughput technology at much lower costs.

  • R&D on HPV Typing Genetic Testing Technology

    BGI began the research and development on HPV typing genetic testing technology useing next-generation high-throughput s... Learn details

    BGI began the research and development on HPV typing genetic testing technology useing next-generation high-throughput sequencing to accurate type 14 high-risk HPV’s (16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56,58,59, 66, 68)) which are highly correlated with cervical cancer as published by World Health Organization.

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Bioethics and Biosecurity
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