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Arkansas Prof Charged in Failure to Disclose Case

The University of Arkansas has suspended an electrical engineering professor following his arrest for allegedly failing to disclose ties to the Chinese government and Chinese businesses, the Associated Press reports.

It adds that the professor, Simon Ang, was arrested Friday and charged with wire fraud. According to the AP, Ang allegedly did not disclose his ties to Chinese government and Chinese businesses on an application for a grant from NASA. The University of Arkansas subsequently suspended Ang without pay, it notes.

The US has become concerned about foreign influence on US research and been investigating researchers regarding their relationships with foreign governments, particularly with China. In connection with such investigations, researchers from Emory University, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Moffitt Cancer Center have resigned or been dismissed. Additionally, Harvard University's Charles Lieber was charged with making false claims regarding the funds he received from China's Thousand Talents Program. But as many of the researchers targeted by these investigations are Asian or Asian American, concerns about racism have also been raised.

The Scan

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.

Family Genetic Risk Score Linked to Diagnostic Trajectory in Psychiatric Disorders

Researchers in JAMA Psychiatry find ties between high or low family genetic risk scores and diagnostic stability or change in four major psychiatric disorders over time.

Study Questions Existence of Fetal Microbiome

A study appearing in Nature this week suggests that the reported fetal microbiome might be the result of sample contamination.

Fruit Fly Study Explores Gut Microbiome Effects on Circadian Rhythm

With gut microbiome and gene expression experiments, researchers in PNAS see signs that the microbiome contributes to circadian rhythm synchronicity and stability in fruit flies.