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Two Retracted

Two journals have retracted papers studying DNA samples from Uyghur individuals after questions arose asking whether participants could have provided full informed consent, according to the New York Times.

The papers, it adds, appeared in the International Journal of Legal Medicine and in Human Genetics in 2019 and their authors included Li Caixia from China's Ministry of Public Security. The involvement of law enforcement officials in the research suggested to some outsiders that the individuals in the study might not have voluntarily provided samples, the Times adds, noting that Uyghurs in China live under high surveillance and incarceration. Yves Moreau from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, for instance, has raised such concerns about certain profiles in the Y-chromosome Haplotype Reference Database, has called for the retraction of a different Human Genetics study, and, according to Science, flagged many other papers because of potential consent issues with the collection of DNA samples from ethnic minorities.

In similar retraction notices, the International Journal of Legal Medicine and Human Genetics acknowledge the consent issues that arose and say they sought additional documentation from the researchers. But they add that what they received was not enough to conclude the protocols met the journals' or international ethical standards.