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Under Examination

Health regulators in five countries are taking a look at BGI's prenatal test following a Reuters report that said the company has ties to the Chinese military, according to the Guardian.

In July, Reuters reported that BGI developed its NIFTY prenatal test in conjunction with the Chinese military and that patients' data was being sent to and stored in China. BGI, however, has disputed much of the Reuters reports. In a statement, it said that it developed its NIFTY prenatal test on its own, that it adheres to international privacy standards, and that data from clients outside China is not stored in China.

Guardian reports that regulators in Germany and Slovenia are examining the test under European Union data protection rules and notes the European Data Protection Supervisor is monitoring the situation. German, Australian, Estonian, and Canadian regulators have also called on BGI to be transparent about its data collection and have said local vendors may be responsible for ensuring data privacy even if the data is sent abroad, the Guardian adds.

"It is vital that the patient is provided with clear information," Beverley Rowbotham, chair of Australia's National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council, tells the Guardian.

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.