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The Chinese genomics giant BGI -- a company with extensive global reach -- has been curiously absent from reporting on DNA testing in Xinjiang. Finally it gets a mention in this important essay. But there is more.…
For the unfamiliar, 20 years ago BGI powered China's contribution to the Human Genome Project. A series of splashy Science & Nature covers followed. When I moved to China in 2004 to work as a science journalist, BGI was THE media darling.…
In 2012, BGI opened a fancy research center in Copenhagen, in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen and the Danish government.…
It also acquired the US company Complete Genomics, giving it access to the DNA of many Americans.…
In 2017, BGI launched a research center in Seattle. Partners included the University of Washington, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.…
That same year, as the falling cost of sequencing cut into BGI's global profits, the company opened an office in Xinjiang.…
The Xinjiang partnership includes forensics work, according to archived Chinese press coverage…
BGI is also **contributing to the creation of a Xinjiang gene bank,** according to this local government post:…
@EBKania raised concerns about BGI back in August, but journals continue to publish papers authored by the company's scientists…
More importantly, researchers around the world rely on BGI sequencers. Harvard geneticist George Church, a luminary in the field, is a longtime advisor and partner. There is even a BGI institute named after him.…
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