Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Low Uptake

Hong Kong has launched a free COVID-19 testing program, but turnout has been low among residents in part due to concerns that their DNA would be collected, BBC News reports.

According to the Washington Post, Hong Kong's chief executive, Carrie Lam, has urged all 7.5 million residents there to undergo testing, but that only about 650,000 people have signed up. The reluctance is in part due to the lack of trust between Hong Kong's leaders and residents, it adds. Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong tells BBC News that the program "fuels more concerns that the plan is a large-scale DNA collection." Lam says, according to the Washington Post, that people who were wary of the testing effort were attempting to "damage the relationship" between Hong Kong and Beijing.

In addition, medical and public health personnel have criticized the program's strategy, which is focusing on asymptomatic people, since Hong Kong has a low rate of new infections, the Washington Post adds. "If you are testing random people on the street, with no history of disease, you are going to get false positives," the National University of Singapore's Dale Fisher tells it.

The South China Morning Post reports that 82,000 people underwent testing on the program's first day.

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.