Gene research is an effective way to prevent birth defects and discover genetic diseases in their early stages. It’s also what enables you to open your iPhone with the touch of a thumb.

Enter the China National GeneBank (CNGB), the largest gene bank of its kind in the world. Situated on the foot of Guanyin Mountain in Dapeng New District, Shenzhen, the center is used for preserving and managing genome data and biological samples as well as carrying out research for hundreds of millions of genetic samples. The site is also home to a cancer database with more than 3,000 samples.

Resembling a cruise ship and holding a massive library of animal, plant, microorganism and human body cell samples, the CNGB is often nicknamed ‘China’s Noah’s Arc’ by mainland media.

Prior to its opening in September 2016, the world’s largest gene banks were located in the US, Japan and Britain.

“We hope to make the gene bank China’s – and even the world’s – largest biological information data center, like Google but in the field of life and health data,” Director Mei Yonghong is quoted as saying.