China uses DNA to follow its people, with the help of American expertise

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"Dr. Budowle and his team hate the use of DNA technology to persecute ethnic or religious groups, "said Carlton in his statement." Their work is focused on criminal investigations and the fight against trafficking in human beings in the service of humanity. "

Dr. Kidd's data has become an integral part of China's DNA research.

In 2014, researchers from the Ministry published a document describing a way for scientists to distinguish one ethnic group from another. He cites, for example, the ability to distinguish Uyghurs from Indians. The authors reported using 40 DNA samples taken from Uighurs in China and samples from other ethnic groups in Dr. Kidd's Yale's laboratory.

In patent applications filed in China in 2013 and 2017, ministry researchers described ways to sort people by ethnicity by examining their genetic make-up. They took genetic material from the Uyghurs and compared it to the DNA of other ethnic groups. In the 2017 filing, the researchers explained that their system would help "deduce the geographic origin of the DNA of the suspects at the scene of the crime."

For external comparison, they used DNA samples provided by Dr. Kidd's lab, indicates the document filed in 2017. They also used samples from 1000 genome project, a public gene catalog from around the world.

Paul Flicek, a member of the 1000 Genomes Project Steering Committee, said his data was not restricted and that there was "no obvious problem" if it was used to determine the source of the data. A sample of DNA.

The data flow has also been reversed.

Researchers from the Chinese government provided data of 2,143 Uighurs the Database of allelic frequencies, an online research platform run by Mr. Kidd and funded in part by the United States Department of Justice until last year. The database, known as Alfred, contains data on the DNA of more than 700 populations around the world.

This sharing of data could violate the scientific standards of informed consent because it is not clear if the Uyghurs have provided their DNA samples to the Chinese authorities, said Arthur Caplan. the foundation Head of the Division of Medical Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, New York University. He stated that "no one should be in a database without express consent".