China’s Genetics Giant Wants to Tailor Medicine to Your DNA

Photo Credit: Bloomberg

BGI is racing toward a world where your DNA informs your medical decisions—and maybe some of your personal ones. Things could get weird.

At the Shenzhen headquarters of the Chinese genetics company BGI Group, there’s no excuse for poor health. Employees are urged to punctuate their days with quick bursts of high-intensity exercise on the weight benches, pullup bars, and spin bikes placed in the open-plan offices’ breakout areas.

BGI’s co-founder, chairman, and animating force, 65-year-old geneticist Wang Jian, insists on all this exertion not just because he believes healthy workers are more productive.

Someday soon, Wang predicts, getting your entire genome sequenced—a far more elaborate enterprise than commercial tests such as those from 23andMe Inc., which examine only small portions of a person’s DNA—will be as unremarkable as getting a vaccination.

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