Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

How Many Versions Ago?

The trade deal reached between the European Union and the UK includes a provision that the transfer of DNA profiles between countries rely on outdated email software, the Verge reports.

In particular, it adds that the deal calls for the use of email and encryption tools like those from Netscape Communicator, which the Verge notes is more than 20 years old, or Mozilla Mail. Gizmodo further points out that the last stable release of Netscape Communicator was in 2002 and that over the years Mozilla Mail has morphed into other products.

At Medium, Edinburgh Napier University's Bill Buchanan writes that the security tools mentioned are no longer recommended and he suggests that their inclusion in the text stems from the text of older deals being copied over without an understanding of what it said. "Overall the handling of DNA data must be seen as one of the highest levels of secrecy and trust, and we should always be using the best methods around," he adds. 

The UK's Home Office tells BBC News that the text establishes "the legally prescribed measures for cooperation."

"We currently use the latest technology to share this data, which is properly protected and in line with the guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre," a spokesperson tells the BBC.

The Scan

Could Mix It Up

The US Food and Drug Administration is considering a plan that would allow for the mixing-and-matching of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and boosters, the New York Times says.

Closest to the Dog

New Scientist reports that extinct Japanese wolf appears to be the closest known wild relative of dogs.

Offer to Come Back

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the University of Tennessee is offering Anming Hu, a professor who was acquitted of charges that he hid ties to China, his position back.

PNAS Papers on Myeloid Differentiation MicroRNAs, Urinary Exosomes, Maize Domestication

In PNAS this week: role of microRNAs in myeloid differentiation, exosomes in urine, and more.