Being based in Hong Kong we were inspired to study our emblem, the beautiful Bauhinia blakeana flower that appears on our flag and currency. What many people may not know is that it is a sterile hybrid, and how and why it ended up in Hong Kong is shrouded in mystery. By bringing together the emblematic and mysterious Bauhinia flower and the power and knowledge of genome technology, we can build a bridge between science and community— enlightening our understanding of this plant’s interesting biology and informing and educating the public about this exciting and rapidly advancing field. To build such a collaborative endeavor, we have launched the first Hong Kong genome project through which we will sequence the genome of the Hong Kong emblem to better understand where it came from; train local students to assemble and analyse the data — crucial skills needed for this field to advance; and engage the public through local pride.
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