Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Investigation of Racial Profiling Sought

Science reports that scientists and civil rights activists are asking Congress and the Biden Administration to look into complaints of racial profiling stemming from the Department of Justice's China Initiative. 

That initiative, it notes, aims to protect the US research enterprise from foreign influence, but has come under criticism for allegedly targeting Chinese-American researchers. In a letter to Representative Jamie Raskin (D–MD), who chairs a House civil rights committee, researchers and civil rights leaders urge him to conduct an investigation "to address the racial profiling and investigations of scientists and scholars of Chinese or Asian descent by the Department of Justice, the National Institutes of Health, and other science funding agencies based on misguided fears of economic espionage and intellectual property theft."

Science notes that a similar letter was sent to President Joe Biden shortly before he took office, though he has yet to respond.

Adam Hickey from the DOJ's national security division tells Science that determinations on which cases to go after "are not being made using race or ethnicity as a factor." It adds that Hickey noted that charges have been brought against research who are not ethnic Chinese, including Harvard University's Charles Lieber.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.