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Chinese researchers apply gene sequencing tech to TCM

By Zhang Huan (People's Daily Online)    20:45, October 12, 2017

Chinese researchers are using gene sequencing technology to improve Chinese herbal medicines’ value, said experts at a four-day summit on plants and human health held in Chongqing Municipality that started on Oct. 10, Science and Technology Daily reported.

Chinese researchers have adopted whole genome sequencing for more than 10,000 medicinal plants, including ginseng, to ensure quality, said Chen Shilin, director of the Institute of Chinese Materia Medica under the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.

Moreover, Chen disclosed that they have applied genomics research to the development of new medicines and the synthetic biology of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in order to promote the development of TCM.

Statistics shows that China’s TCM industry has seen rapid growth and that more than 500 traditional Chinese medicinal materials are planted in China, occupying 50 million mu (3.3 million hectares) of land.

However, the development of the TCM industry in China faces hurdles, such as varying qualities, low industrialization, lack of systematic pharmacological research, and backward quality testing methods. Solving these problems is of great importance in promoting TCM’s development, the expert noted.

Xu Zhihong, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, also stressed that through adopting modern technologies for improving pesticides, traditional Chinese medicine can better serve human health.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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