The government is not being transparent about the risks’: Inventor of MRNA vaccines says people should not be forced to take experimental COVID vaccines because risks aren’t known and under 18s and those who’ve had virus shouldn’t take it
By Christopher Eberhart For Dailymail.Com01:22 EDT 24 Jun 2021 , updated 05:16 EDT 25 Jun 2021
Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of mRNA technology that’s used in the COVID vaccine, said young adults and teens shouldn’t be forced to get the vaccine
He told Fox’s Tucker Carlson that there isn’t enough risk-benefit analysis data for that age group
Earlier today, a CDC advisory group said there is a ‘likely link’ between rare cases of heart inflammation in that age group and the COVID-19 vaccine
The inventor of mRNA vaccines said ‘the government is not being transparent about the risks’ of the COVID-19 vaccine after YouTube deleted a video where he discussed potential risks for young adults and teens.
Dr. Robert Malone, who invented the mRNA technology that’s now being used in the COVID-19 vaccine, told Fox’s Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night that there isn’t enough data about the risks for these age groups and doesn’t believe they should be forced to get vaccinated.
‘My concern is I know there are risks but we don’t have access to the data,’ Malone said. ‘And so, I am of the opinion that people have the right to decide whether to accept vaccines or not, especially since these are experimental vaccines.’
Malone shared his concerns the same day that an advisory group for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there is a ‘likely link’ between rare cases of heart inflammation in adolescents and young adults and the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use mRNA technology, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses the more traditional virus-based technology.
Malone says on his website that he invented the field of messenger mRNA therapeutics in 1988.
‘His discoveries in mRNA non viral delivery systems are considered the key to the current COVID-19 vaccine strategies,’ his biography says.
Scroll down for video.
His warnings come as a presentation was released earlier Wednesday: The COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Technical (VaST) Work Group discussed nearly 500 reports of the heart inflammation, known as myocarditis, in vaccinated adults under age 30.
The group of doctors said he risk of myocarditis or pericarditis following vaccination with the mRNA-based shots in adolescents and young adults is notably higher after the second dose and in males.
According to the CDC, as of July 14th, 2021, 335 children (17 years old and younger), have died from a cause involving COVID-19 (ie, 335 deaths “involving” COVID-19 among those <17 since the pandemic began in 2020).
As of June 23, 2021, there were “more than 2,000” cases of myocarditis in pericarditis among COVID-19 vaccine recipients, with most cases involving individuals under 30:
Now that we’re halfway through 2021, we’d like to look at all you’ve helped us accomplish so far this year.
We’ve made strides in courts, legislation, and corporations. We filed five lawsuits to achieve justice for those harmed, and accountability for those responsible, and have had policy victories in Louisiana, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont! The annual NCOSE “Dirty Dozen” List, a tool to effect positive change with major corporate entities, has had Corporate Advocacy wins this year already- including changes to Discord, Amazon, Instagram, TikTok and more.
Leading the battle to dismantle the sexual exploitation industry
In September 2020, NCOSE, on behalf of a victim, launched its first lawsuit against the trafficker, the pornography production company and the online websites hosting the videos of her abuse. The strategy was to bring to light the rampant and extensive abuse and exploitation of children and adults that is accelerating with the complicit participation of social media platforms and the sexual exploitation industry. In the same way that the deceit of the smoking industry was exposed by litigation, NCOSE is continuing to file cases and deliver legislation and policy to achieve justice for those harmed, and accountability for those responsible.
December 15, 2020 Lawsuit filed in the U.S. District court of Southern California against MindGeek, on behalf of 40 sex trafficked women.
January 20, 2021 Lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California against Twitter, on behalf of a minor harmed by the distribution of material depicting his sexual abuse.
February 12, 2021 Class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern Alabama against MindGeek, on behalf of two trafficked and raped children.
February 19, 2021 Class action lawsuit filed in Montreal, Quebec against the MindGeek entities, including Pornhub, seeking damages on behalf of all persons who, since 2007, had videos or photos posted without their consent to a website owned or operated by one of the MindGeek entities.
February 22, 2021 Class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Central California against MindGeek on behalf of a single trafficked and raped child.
March 5, 2021 Despite significant opposition from Big Tech, the Utah State Legislature passed a NCOSE-authored law that requires manufacturers of smartphones and tablets activated in the state for users under age 18 to, by default, turn on the existing, built-in parental controls that block out sexually explicit material. The bill was subsequently signed into law by Utah Governor Spencer Cox.
March 18, 2021 Class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Central California against XVideos and its parent group, WebGroup Czech Republic, for selling, publishing and distributing the video of a 14-year-old girl on its platforms. XVideos boasts that it has 200 million daily visitors (three billion visitors per month) and six billion daily impressions on its various websites, making it the most frequently visited pornography website in the world, higher than Netflix, Amazon, and Wikipedia.
April 8, 2021 NCOSE team members, along with allies and survivors, hosted a historic online briefing for Congress on how Pornhub and MindGeek facilitate and profit from sexual abuse and exploitation. We finally have Congress’ attention, along with law enforcement! More than 700 survivors and advocates from 70 countries called upon Congress to open criminal investigations into the online pornography sites. Over 2.2 million people signed a petition calling for Pornhub to be shut down for engaging in sex trafficking.
Impacting corporate and community culture
The annual NCOSE “Dirty Dozen” List has proven to be one of our most impactful tools to effect positive change with major corporate entities who either facilitate or actively promote and profit from sexual abuse and exploitation.
Discord, a popular communications service with over 100 million active monthly users, announced key changes to the way they handle explicit content on their platform, which had a distinct lack of safety features.
Amazon added the ability to set profiles restricting content for children and finally stopped the sale of full body sex dolls.
Instagram announced that adults will no longer be able to directly message teenagers unless they have been approved as a “follower” of the young person.
TikTok also announced several enhanced privacy and safety settings for minors, making it more difficult for children to be groomed, sexually exploited, or abused through this extremely popular platform.
Comcast removed all MindGeek pornographic content from its service!
Mastercard implemented new rules on processing payments to websites—requiring age, identity and consent verification and documentation.
Stopping the increase of trafficking
Pro-exploitation forces are trying to normalize and grow the sex trade with lies and legislation. They want to legalize pimping, brothel-keeping, and sex-buying. As their efforts for “decriminalization of prostitution” pop up in the US and around the world, NCOSE leads the activities and campaigns needed to hold the line and to not allow the sexual exploitation industry to explode.
Recently we’ve won in Oregon, Vermont, and Louisiana! We support eliminating criminal charges and penalties for victims of this industry, but not for the perpetrators!
Thank you for partnering with NCOSE to create a world free from sexual abuse and exploitation!
To read the full Report of all you have helped us accomplish, view our 2021 Mid-Year Impact Report.
Last summer, the same media informed a viewing public that protests around the country were fiery but mostly peaceful. As storefronts burned, CBS brought on Nikole Hannah-Jones to state that destroying a person’s livelihood and business was not actually violence. CNN dismissed antifa as not really a thing. MSNBC defended the rioters. The New York Times pretended none of it was happening. Innocent people trying to drive away from violent protesters were condemned by the press and progressives for not sitting there and letting their cars be smashed.
In Portland, Oregon, rioters have continually, nightly, attempted to burn down a federal courthouse. The media and Democrats blamed Trump and federal law enforcement. Law enforcement left, and the rioting continued, but the media stopped covering it.
In Chicago, the mayor, who now wants federal law enforcement to protect her city, just last summer denounced federal law enforcement and refused Trump’s offer to have them come help calm the city. The media defended her decision.
At Trump’s inauguration, rioters marched through the streets of Washington smashing windows, burning cars and beating up Republicans. They did the same just last year, including attacking Sen. Rand Paul and his wife. Speaking of Paul, various Democrats and comedians on television have used him as the butt of their jokes after his neighbor violently attacked him.
A few years ago, progressive agitators stormed Texas’ Capitol building attempting to shut down the legislature as it met to pass pro-life legislation. The media took the side of the protestors trying to block the passage of pro-life legislation from the duly elected Texas legislature.
Before that, in Wisconsin, progressive activists stormed the Wisconsin Capitol building attempting to block Republican reforms and redistricting plans. Having lost the election, they attempted to barricade themselves in the building. The media passively, dispassionately covered it. It was, after all, understandable because those Republicans were trying to gerrymander.
A media that even now insists every Republican and Trump voter be held accountable for Jan. 6 has always deflected, defended and massaged the facts about the protests of last summer, the violence, the crime wave, the repeated attempts by progressives to block democratic actions, etc. Progressives, antifa and Black Lives Matter agitators are always the protagonists. Law enforcement, Republicans and conservatives are always the antagonists.
Each of the incidents was appalling. Each should be denounced. The American mainstream media, however, seems fixated on one while having ignored all the others. Some will say Jan. 6 is uniquely bad. It was really bad and condemnable. But also, Jan. 6 probably never would have happened had the media and Democrats together not spent so many years defending violent protestors disrupting democratic institutions and burning down businesses when the protestors were progressive.
Democracy’s last stand is not actually about accountability for Jan. 6, a commission and a need to push back against Trump voters. Democracy’s last stand is whether the American press can free itself again from left-wing groupthink and actually be a fair and impartial press. Democracy depends on that very thing, and the media, through its own biases and partisanship, is abandoning the democratic ship in favor of a Democratic Party just as authoritarian as the GOP, if not more.
On Sunday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asked people to report their family members and friends who are showing “extremist” behavior in an effort to “help prevent homegrown violent extremism.”
Incidentally… They also published an Active Shooter Incidents showing that in 2020 there were 40 active shooters compared to 30 in 2019. All the other numbers were down on this report according to the FBI’s reference.
“Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism,” the FBI said in a tweet. “Visit https://go.usa.gov/x6mjf to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the #FBI. #NatSec.”
The document outlines a list of 46 “observable behaviors that could help determine whether individuals or groups are preparing to engage in violent extremist activities.”
This link provided by the FBI in 2019 brings users to a document
The top three indicators on the list are:
Preparing and disseminating a martyrdom video/statement, last will,
seeking religious or political justification for a planned violent act,
Attempting to mobilize others to violence, especially family members and peers.
Other indicators include:
Encouraging or advocating violence toward individuals, military or government officials, law enforcement, or civilian targets
Unusual purchase of military-style tactical equipment other than weapons (e.g., personal protective equipment, body armor),
Dehumanizing people who are not in the identity group,
Researching or discussing ways to evade law enforcement
Lying to law enforcement officers/obstructing investigations.
The 2019 document largely focuses on Islamic extremism
More recently President Joe Biden’s administration has called white supremacy “the most lethal threat” to homeland security.
“According to the intelligence community, terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today,” Biden said during a speech marking the 100th anniversary of the 1921 race massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “Not ISIS. Not Al Qaeda. White supremacists.”
New Announcement Last Month: National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism
The strategy says that experts and evidence have shown today’s domestic terrorists include those who espouse “racial or ethnic bigotry and hatred” as well as “anti-government or anti-authority sentiment.”
However, what I noticed is that anti-law enforcement ideologies such as those espoused by Antifa and Black Lives Matter were not mentioned.
“Racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (principally those who promote the superiority of the white race) and militia violent extremists are assessed as presenting the most persistent and lethal threats,” the strategy states.
“Domestic violent extremists pose an elevated threat in 2021 and in the FBI’s view, the top domestic violent extremist threat we face comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race,” Garland told lawmakers.
Breaking Global News – Monday, November 1, 2021–Arrest Order and Warrant issued against Pope Francis by International Court – $10,000 Reward and Amnesty offered to detain Jorge Bergoglio for Crimes against Humanity
By Kevin Annett
Arrest Order issued against Pope Francis; Reward and Amnesty offered as trial set to begin
Brussels, New York, Vancouver:
The court that forced the resignation of Pope Benedict in 2013 has issued an Arrest Order and Warrant against Pope Francis (Jorge Bergoglio) for Crimes against Humanity, along with a $10,000 reward for his capture.
The International Common Law Court of Justice (ICLCJ) issued the Order and reward today, along with an offer of amnesty from prosecution to any Catholic official or clergy who assists in the detaining of Bergoglio.
A copy of the Order and Warrant follows.
According to the Court statement that accompanied its Order,
“Our Prosecutor has in his possession documented evidence and eyewitness affidavits that attest to Jorge Bergoglio’s personal complicity in child rape, torture and trafficking, ritual killing, medical genocide, obstruction of justice, and a general command responsibility for mass murder and other crimes perpetrated by the Church of Rome … Bergoglio is subject to prosecution as an indictable individual under common and international law, and he will be prosecuted by our Court. We are offering a reward and immunity from prosecution to anyone and especially to any of Bergoglio’s church associates who assist us in detaining and prosecuting him.”
Technicians work at a genetic testing laboratory of BGI in Kunming, Yunnan province, China, in 2018. | REUTERS
SYDNEY –BGI Group, the world’s largest genomics company, has worked with China’s military on research that ranges from mass testing for respiratory pathogens to brain science, a review of research, patent filings and other documents has found.
The review, of more than 40 publicly available documents and research papers in Chinese and English, shows BGI’s links to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) include research with China’s top military supercomputing experts. The extent of those links has not previously been reported.
BGI has sold millions of COVID-19 test kits outside China since the outbreak of the new coronavirus pandemic, including to Europe, Australia and the United States. Shares of BGI Genomics Co., the company’s subsidiary listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange, have doubled in price over the past 12 months, giving it a market value of about $9 billion.
But top U.S. security officials have warned American labs against using Chinese tests because of concern China was seeking to gather foreign genetic data for its own research. BGI has denied that.
The documents reviewed by Reuters neither contradict nor support that U.S. suspicion. Still, the material shows that the links between the Chinese military and BGI run deeper than previously understood, illustrating how China has moved to integrate private technology companies into military-related research under President Xi Jinping.
The U.S. government has recently been warned by an expert panel that adversary countries and nonstate actors might find and target genetic weaknesses in the U.S. population and a competitor such as China could use genetics to augment the strength of its own military personnel.
BGI has worked on PLA projects seeking to make members of the ethnic Han Chinese majority less susceptible to altitude sickness, Reuters found, genetic research that would benefit soldiers in some border areas.
Elsa Kania, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security think tank, who has provided testimony to U.S. Congressional committees, said that China’s military has pushed research on brain science, gene editing and the creation of artificial genomes that could have an application in future bioweapons. She added that such weapons are not currently technically feasible.
BGI’s pattern of collaboration with the Chinese military was a “reasonable concern to raise” for U.S. officials, said Kania.
In response to questions, BGI said it adheres to international standards and Chinese laws related to open science, data sharing and genomic research. It said its collaboration with military researchers was for academic purposes only.
“BGI strongly rejects any accusations about links with the PLA, particularly in relation to our COVID-19 test kits,” it said in a statement.
China’s Defense Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.
‘Enhance’ solider strength
Chinese technology companies have come under increasing scrutiny by the United States and were subject to mounting restrictions under the administration of Donald Trump. In November, the Department of Commerce proposed a rule to add gene editing software to the U.S. export control list, saying it could be used to create biological weapons. Officials in the new administration of President Joe Biden have signaled a continued tough approach to what they see as a rising threat from Beijing.
A technology industry panel on artificial intelligence, appointed by the U.S. government and chaired by former Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, raised the alarm in October about China’s financial support for its biotechnology sector, its advantages in collecting biological data, and the PLA’s interest in potential military applications.
The panel, which will deliver its final report in March, warned about adversaries using artificial intelligence to identify genetic weaknesses in a population and engineering pathogens to exploit them, and genetic research designed to enhance soldiers’ mental or physical strength.
The panel recommended that the U.S. government “take a more aggressive public posture regarding BGI,” citing national security risks posed by the company’s links to the Chinese government and its trove of genomic data.
The U.S. Department of State did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Reuters’ findings.
In response to questions, China’s Foreign Ministry said the U.S. government had “wantonly misinterpreted and smeared China’s military-civil fusion policy,” and was imposing unreasonable sanctions that would hamper research.
“China’s military-civil fusion policy is aimed at effectively mobilizing military and civilian resources, coordinating socio-economic growth and national defense development, and benefiting the public with scientific and technological progress. This policy is above board and beyond reproach,” the ministry said in a statement.
It added that this was “customary international practice” and said the U.S. government had effectively pursued military-civil fusion for more than 100 years.
BGI Group, based in Shenzhen, has grown quickly by selling genetic sequencing services to universities and health systems around the world and amassing a large DNA databank. It created China’s first cloned pig in 2010.
One science paper authored by BGI founders Yang Huanming and Wang Jian, along with the PLA’s Key Laboratory of High Altitude Medicine and the Third Military Medical University, focused on experiments with the brains of monkeys suffering altitude sickness.
The study, published in January 2020, stated that it was funded as one of the “key projects of military science and technology” by the PLA. A decade ago, the military university’s research sought to identify genes related to altitude sickness so the PLA could screen for susceptible soldiers. The latest research focused on how drugs interacting with genes could potentially protect a person from brain injury.
An earlier 2017 study designed by BGI’s Wang and published in conjunction with a PLA research center in Xinjiang looked at the effect of rapid mountain ascent on the bodies of “young, healthy men.”
China has the world’s longest highland border, which includes its border with India, where fighting broke out between the two countries’ troops in 2020. A 2018 paper by the same PLA laboratory stated that “high altitude disease is the main reason for reduced combat effectiveness and health damage to soldiers at high altitudes and influences the results of war.”
Reuters was unable to contact Yang and Wang. BGI said its research collaboration with the PLA lab and the Third Military Medical University, where Yang has been a professor for almost two decades, was “for academic purposes only.”
BGI jointly holds a dozen patents for tests that screen for genomes linked to disease with the military university, the PLA’s Academy of Military Medical Science, which is the top medical research institute of the PLA, and PLA hospitals.
One patent was granted in 2015 to BGI and the Academy of Military Medical Science for a low-cost test kit to detect respiratory pathogens, including SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and coronaviruses.
BGI’s current chief infectious disease scientist, Chen Weijun, is listed as an inventor on the patent documents. Chen was among the first scientists to sequence COVID-19, taking samples from a military hospital in Wuhan, according to sequence data later shared internationally.
Chen is listed as affiliated with the Academy of Military Medical Science in three science papers reviewed by Reuters. In response to questions, BGI said in a statement that Chen has not been affiliated with the PLA’s Academy of Military Medical Science since 2012. Chen did not respond to a request for comment.
BGI’s COVID-19 test kit did not use the method jointly patented with the PLA, the company said in the statement.
Four BGI researchers have also been jointly affiliated with another military institution, the National University of Defence Technology (NUDT), according to publicly available science and conference papers reviewed by Reuters. Hunan-based NUDT is under the direct leadership of China’s Central Military Commission, the top-level body that steers the Chinese military and is headed by Xi.
The NUDT is on a U.S. blacklist as a threat to national security because its Tianhe-2 supercomputer — one of the world’s most powerful — is used to simulate nuclear explosions, according to a Department of Commerce listing. That listing restricts U.S. companies from supplying NUDT with technology.
One researcher, Peng Shaoliang, was instrumental in developing software to speed up BGI’s sequencing of human genomes using supercomputing developed by NUDT.
Peng has won military awards for his work. He is a member of an expert group advising the Central Military Commission’s Science and Technology Commission, set up in 2016 when Xi began promoting a strategy to integrate China’s civilian and military research.
Patent applications in 2020 show Peng is also a member of the PLA’s Institute of Military Medicine. Liao Xiangke, the head of the NUDT’s supercomputer program and a major general in the PLA, has published seven scientific papers either co-authored with BGI researchers or crediting them for providing data and source code.
BGI said in a statement that Peng and Liao “were two collaborators of BGI for the project at the time for the purpose of academic exchange only. Since the project ended BGI has no more affiliation with them.”
Peng and Liao did not respond to requests for comment.
BGI said it uses Tianhe-2 on a commercial basis, as well as other supercomputing platforms, to speed up research. The papers it wrote with the NUDT were for academic purposes only, it said, and were open for public reference, while the programs themselves have ended.
Tianhe-2 has also been used to solve pharmaceutical, cryptology, engineering and climate problems that have no military application, the company said.
A Chinese gene company selling prenatal tests around the world developed them in collaboration with the country’s military and is using them to collect genetic data from millions of women for sweeping research on the traits of populations, a review of scientific papers and company statements found.
U.S. government advisers warned in March that a vast bank of genomic data that the company, BGI Group, is amassing and analyzing with artificial intelligence could give China a path to economic and military advantage. As science pinpoints new links between genes and human traits, access to the biggest, most diverse set of human genomes is a strategic edge. The technology could propel China to dominate global pharmaceuticals, and also potentially lead to genetically enhanced soldiers, or engineered pathogens to target the U.S. population or food supply, the advisers said.
Reuters has found that BGI’s prenatal test, one of the most popular in the world, is a source of genetic data for the company, which has worked with the Chinese military to improve “population quality” and on genetic research to combat hearing loss and altitude sickness in soldiers.
BGI says it stores and reanalyzes left-over blood samples and genetic data from the prenatal tests, sold in at least 52 countries to detect abnormalities such as Down’s syndrome in the fetus. The tests — branded NIFTY for “non-invasive fetal trisomY” — also capture genetic information about the mother, as well as personal details such as her country, height and weight, but not her name, BGI computer code shows.
So far, more than 8 million women have taken BGI’s prenatal tests globally. BGI has not said how many of the women took the test abroad, and said it only stores location data on women in mainland China.
The tests are a private procedure for the women who take them, a component in their routine prenatal care. But the studies show that they yield increasingly potent information for research.
One BGI study, for instance, used a military supercomputer to reanalyze NIFTY data and map the prevalence of viruses in Chinese women, look for indicators of mental illness in them, and single out Tibetan and Uyghur minorities to find links between their genes and their characteristics.
The scale of BGI’s accumulation of prenatal data, and its collaboration with the military in prenatal and neonatal research, have not been previously reported. The company has published at least a dozen joint studies on the tests with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) since 2010, trialing and improving the tests or analyzing the data they provided, the Reuters review found.
DNA data collected from prenatal tests on women outside China has also been stored in China’s government-funded gene database, one of the world’s largest, the company confirmed. BGI, in which the Shenzhen city government and Beijing’s largest state investment vehicle took stakes in 2014, runs that gene bank.
Beijing made clear in a 2019 regulation that genetic data can be a national security matter, and since 2015 it has restricted foreign researchers from accessing gene data on Chinese people. In contrast, the United States and Britain give foreign researchers access to genetic data, as part of open science policies.
BGI said in a statement it “has never been asked to provide — nor provided — data from its NIFTY tests to Chinese authorities for national security or national defense security purposes.”
Other companies selling such prenatal tests also reuse data for research. But none operate on the scale of BGI, scientists and ethicists say, or have BGI’s links to a government or its track record with a national military.
News BGI developed the prenatal tests with the PLA comes as international scrutiny is increasing over China’s use of civilian technology for military modernization. NATO has warned China’s assertive behavior is a systemic challenge, and Beijing has drawn sanctions for alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang and stepped up a national security crackdown in Hong Kong.
The findings offer new insight into how BGI is using vast computing power to unlock genomic secrets. Previously, Reuters revealed how the company rapidly expanded its gene-sequencing labs globally and gained a role in other nations’ health systems, and how it worked with China’s military on research ranging from mass testing for respiratory pathogens to brain science.
The Reuters examination also sheds new light on concerns expressed by a U.S. expert panel, the U.S. National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), led by former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt. The panel said in March that the United States should recognize China’s strides toward global leadership in biotechnology and AI as a new kind of national security threat, and boost funding for its own research to counter China’s state-driven effort.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the reporting in this article reflected “groundless accusations and smears” of U.S. agencies. The PLA did not respond. China has released new privacy and data security laws that offer greater protection of personal data, but also allow Chinese national security authorities to access that data.
BGI did not respond to questions on its military collaboration or the national security threats that the United States says its research poses. “At no stage throughout the testing or research process does BGI have access to any identifiable personal data or the ability to match that data with personal records,” the company said. Signed consent is obtained in advance, BGI said, and its data privacy protocols meet strict international standards.
A 2016 Chinese regulation requires samples and genetic sequences from the tests on Chinese women to be kept for at least three years, after which the women can request that the data is deleted. For women overseas, BGI said it destroys samples and deletes paper records and electronic data after a maximum of five years.
Some of BGI’s research has medical benefits, and BGI has cut the cost of gene sequencing so more universities, companies and hospitals worldwide can access sequencing technology, a key driver in the growing field of genomics. Genetics is the study of individual genes; genomics looks at all of a person’s genes, including how they interact with each other and the environment.
“Whilst BGI is a Chinese-based company, we consider ourselves part of the global race toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic and a key international contributor to the advancement of public health outcomes around the world,” the company said, adding it collaborates with a large number of academic and research organizations not just in China, but also the United States, United Kingdom and Europe.
BGI is one of about half a dozen major providers of the tests, more generally known as non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPT), which women take about 10 weeks into a pregnancy to capture DNA from the placenta in the woman’s bloodstream. Its tests are marketed in at least 13 European Union countries, including Germany, Spain and Denmark, as well as in Britain, Canada, Australia, Thailand, India and Pakistan. They are not sold in the United States.
However, the company is a pivotal player in a genomics race between China and the United States. In its latest annual report, it said it “has been working hard to promote Chinese technology, Chinese experience and Chinese standards to ‘go global.’”
BGI grew as a result of Chinese government policies, said Anna Puglisi, a senior fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, who worked until 2020 as the U.S. government’s National Counterintelligence Officer for East Asia. “The Chinese state can really compel, in their national security law, companies to work with them,” she said, referring to a 2017 law requiring all Chinese organizations to assist national intelligence efforts.
Being able to understand how physical characteristics relate to a gene — and thus figuring out what genes actually do — “really is the cutting edge of genomics,” said Puglisi, who worked on biosecurity issues in the U.S. government.
“When you can combine large amounts of genomic data — including mothers and their unborn children — with their medical data and history, it is really powerful.”
The data offer insight into foreign populations as well as China’s own. Computer instructions that BGI uses to process the NIFTY data show it collects a wide range of information about customers besides their genetic code. This includes the women’s country, medical history and the sex of the fetus, according to the instructions, reviewed by Reuters on a programmers’ forum online.
Reuters reviewed more than 100 documents, from research papers to marketing materials, to determine the scope of data being captured by BGI through its prenatal tests, how it is using this in its research and its military collaboration. Reuters also interviewed more than two dozen scientists and experts in genetic law, including researchers who worked with the company, as well as four women, in Poland, Spain and Thailand, who took the tests.
The women, who signed consent forms stating that their genetic data would be stored and used for research, said they did not realize their genetic information could end up in China. For example, one of them, a 32-year-old office administrator in Poland, signed a BGI form agreeing to have her sample sent to Hong Kong and her genetic data retained, but the form did not say where it would be held, or make clear that BGI’s headquarters and research base are in Shenzhen.
The woman, Emilia, spoke on the condition that only her first name be used. She said that if she had known that, and understood the extent of BGI’s secondary research, she would have chosen a different test.
“I want to know what is happening with such sensitive data about me, such as my genome and that of my child,” she said. “This could be a very important matter when choosing a test. For me it would be.”
It was also unclear to the other women where their data was stored.
The U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) said in response to this report that it had “serious concerns” over how genetic data is “collected, transmitted, stored and used” by China’s government and companies.
The NCSC, which issues public warnings on intelligence threats to the United States, has said China’s collection of health care data from America poses serious risks, not only to privacy, but also to U.S. economic and national security.
It urged health institutions to carefully assess risks associated with sharing such data with Chinese companies, and for patients to be told about the “value and sensitivity” of their genetic information — and the risks associated with turning it over. Women taking the NIFTY test outside China should be concerned about the privacy terms that allow data to be shared with Chinese national security agencies, the center said.
“Noninvasive prenatal testing kits marketed by Chinese biotech firms serve an important medical function, but they can also provide another mechanism for the People’s Republic of China and Chinese biotech companies to collect genetic and genomic data from around the globe,” the center said.
‘The millionome database’
Shenzhen-based BGI shot to global prominence last year after selling or donating millions of COVID-19 test kits and gene-sequencing labs outside China. U.S. security agencies warned this was part of an effort to collect large amounts of foreign genetic material. BGI said this year it has built 80 COVID-19 labs in 30 countries, which it plans to repurpose for reproductive health screening.
It says its COVID-19 tests do not collect patient DNA.
But its prenatal tests do.
Inside BGI’s offices in mainland China, huge screens update in real time as samples harvested from the tests of pregnant Chinese women are uploaded to the China National GeneBank, according to a scientist who has been inside the Shenzhen facility and photographs published in Chinese state media. The screens also show the location of the women.
BGI said the project — known as the “Chinese Millionome Database” — does not contain data of women outside mainland China.
However, online records show that the genetic data of at least 500 women who have taken the NIFTY test, including some outside China, are stored in the government-funded China National GeneBank.
The GeneBank website acknowledges the “NIFTY database” as among its “rich sources of biological data.”
BGI patented its tests in 2011 and began marketing them abroad in 2013. Within three years, more than 2,000 health care providers globally were selling them, according to BGI marketing materials. In 2019, the last full year before the COVID-19 pandemic, BGI reported that 42% of its sales of 2.8 billion yuan ($433.07 million) came from its reproductive health division. Prenatal tests are the major contributor.
As gene sequencing technology has expanded worldwide, so has the scope of NIPT tests on offer. BGI’s now reveal 84 genetic conditions that affect the pregnancy of women under 40, and sex chromosome disorders that can cause learning delays.
The tests sequence about a tenth of the mother’s genome, said Dennis Lo, the Hong Kong scientist who pioneered the technique independently in 1997.
“And so you can imagine if you got a tenth of the genome sequence and you pull it from millions of people — let’s say 10 million every year — I think that would be quite powerful.”
Lo said the technology would unlock patterns of genetic variations in populations around the world. NIPT tests can also show if the mother has any chromosome anomalies, cancer, an autoimmune disease, a recent organ transplant or blood transfusion, Lo said.
In the future, he said, it may be possible to reconstruct what a person looks like from an NIPT test.
Large genomic datasets can be used to design disease therapies, yet they also expose genetic vulnerabilities in a population; an adversary could exploit a susceptibility to disease in a targeted genetic attack, a report to the U.S. Director of National Intelligence by science and medical experts warned last year.
The report also raised privacy concerns, saying it had “been demonstrated that individuals can be identified from even a portion of their DNA.”
As BGI’s testing has grown, so has its secondary research. Two years ago, BGI researchers wrote in a scientific paper that they had reanalyzed 1.93 million NIPT tests processed in BGI labs between 2016 and 2017. They found 542 women with anomalies that could indicate cancer.
Those women, including customers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Slovenia, Spain and Taiwan, were then contacted for research purposes. Reuters found the women’s genetic data in the China National GeneBank, recorded under seven-digit sample identifiers.
The study said 41 of the women were diagnosed with cancer by their physicians, separately from the BGI research, which was published in Genetics in Medicine.
The study marked a massive mobilization of the genetic information in BGI’s possession. BGI marketing statements show the firm had processed 2.5 million NIPT tests in total by the end of 2017. That meant that during the period of the study, which encompassed nearly 2 million tests, it had reused most of the NIPT tests it processed.
Last year, BGI announced that it would “industrialize” genomics, and in April, it said a “million-scale” prototype robot, capable of sequencing a million whole genomes a year for population genomics, was now being used to process NIFTY tests.
BGI has worked with Chinese military researchers to study the genomes of fetuses and newborns since at least 2010, when it signed a research cooperation agreement with the People’s Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing, a hospital document shows.
The hospital is at the forefront of Chinese genetic research on deafness, and its head of obstetrics, Lu Yanping, was developing a prenatal test for deafness and Down’s syndrome. In April 2011, Lu began a clinical trial of NIFTY with BGI on 3,000 women in the hospital clinic, a published study shows. Neither Lu nor the hospital responded to requests for comment.
In August 2010, BGI started work with another military institution, the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing. Liang Zhiqing, vice chairman of the PLA’s Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and BGI researchers have published at least five joint studies based on data from women who took the test at the university’s prenatal clinic.
Liang’s work was funded by the Chinese government as a “Military Medicine Innovation Project,” and the samples were sequenced in a BGI “joint laboratory” at the university, according to a paper in the European Journal of Medical Genetics. Liang did not respond to a request for comment.
The university and BGI ran conferences on preventing birth defects and “improving population quality,” conference promotion shows. The PLA was closely involved in a foundation to prevent birth defects, led by a key figure in the implementation of China’s one child policy, from 2011.
A BGI executive was among the experts at its first meeting, which heard that “birth defects not only affect the health and quality of life of children, but also the quality of the country’s population and manpower.” A plan to promote screening for 48 genetic and metabolic diseases was approved.
BGI’s research with the PLA on the NIFTY test has continued. In 2019, Lu was credited by Chinese medical journals with detecting a single-gene disease — fetal achondroplasia, which causes dwarfism — through NIPT, in a clinical trial with BGI at the PLA General Hospital. BGI later released a new NIFTY single-gene test that detects the condition.
BGI researchers also conducted studies on novel NIPT methods in 2019 and 2020 with the military hospitals.
As well as prenatal research, BGI has collaborated with the military hospitals on genetic research programs designed to enhance soldiers’ performance.
It worked with the PLA General Hospital to identify genes linked to hearing loss: The hospital uses stem cells and gene therapy in research on combating deafness in soldiers caused by weapons training, papers in military medical journals show.
And BGI published studies with the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing exploring whether drugs interacting with genes could protect Han Chinese, the country’s majority ethnic group, from brain injury at high altitudes. Those studies refer to soldiers stationed in Tibet and Xinjiang, high plateau regions which border India’s Ladakh, where fighting broke out last June.
‘An untapped resource’
For more than a decade, scientists worldwide have searched for a cost-effective way to study the genetic profiles of a whole population of people. A handful of efforts reached tens of thousands of participants, but anything larger stalled on cost and logistics, BGI researchers wrote in a 2018 scientific paper published in Cell.
Left-over samples and test data from prenatal tests meant BGI could run studies on an unprecedented scale.
In the Cell paper, BGI researchers said they had performed the largest study of Chinese population genetics ever — which they undertook with 141,000 re-used prenatal tests. The tests, they said, “provide an untapped resource” to understand how people’s genes relate to their characteristics, and to their susceptibility to viruses.
This, they said, could offer “considerable mapping power.”
The researchers were able to see genes associated with bipolar disease, schizophrenia, immune response and resistance to malaria. They were able to link genes to height and percentage of body fat as well as to a diet high in animal fat.
And they were able to track viruses including hepatitis B — which they found to be relatively common among the Chinese population — and two types of herpes virus, which they said were more prevalent among Europeans. “We … reveal a different viral sequencing distribution spectrum compared to Europeans,” the researchers wrote.
A biology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Rasmus Nielsen, advised BGI researchers on how to extract information from the prenatal test data for the study.
“It’s amazing that this is even possible,” he told a Berkeley newsletter in 2018. “You can take these massive samples and do association-mapping to see what the genetic variants are that explain human traits.”
The researchers were also able to trace genetic distinctions between the country’s dominant Han Chinese ethnic group and minorities including Uyghurs and Tibetans, and look at population movements and intermarriage caused by Chinese government policy since 1949. This data was later released to other Chinese researchers studying how “significantly different” genetic variations in Uyghurs affected their response to drugs, a 2019 scientific paper shows.
China’s collection and analysis of the DNA of its Uyghur Muslim population — including systematic collections of samples from residents in Xinjiang — has drawn sharp criticism. The United States sanctioned two BGI subsidiaries last year for what it called China’s “abusive DNA collection and analysis schemes to repress its citizens.” BGI denied it was involved in any human rights abuses in Xinjiang. China’s foreign ministry said health check-ups of Uyghurs there did not collect biological information such as DNA.
UC Berkeley’s Nielsen said he no longer worked with BGI. He chose to end a decadelong collaboration soon after the 2018 study was published in Cell, because changes to Chinese law restricted foreign researchers working with Chinese genomic data, he said.
“Things are really changing in China,” Nielsen said. “Science used to be free.”
Human Genome Sequence: The Past, Present and a Glimpse of Future
Release date：2021/06/26 Views： 166
21 Years Ago The 20th century was the peak of human civilization in the 55 million years of its history.
The atomic bomb demonstrated the mighty power of the smallest element of our nature and told us how vulnerable the human world could be. The moon-landing pushed our frontier to a different planet and let us realize we are merely dust in the infinity of space.
But there was a spark that empowered us. It revealed a new world as it fundamentally changed the way we recognize ourselves and every living thing on earth. It taught us to be humble as it explained that humans are not much different from plants, insects, or animals. It enlightened us as it unveiled our potentials hidden in millions of years of evolution. And it decoded the secret of life and guided us to happiness, immortality, and even eternity.
This is the Human Genome Project (HGP).
What is HGP?
So, what is a genome?
Everything about our physical selves is pre-determined by our genetic information – skin color, eye color, the softness of hair, etc. – is stored in our DNA. For any organism (including human beings), a genome consists of DNA and all genetic materials passed along from our biological parents and will pass to our children. To simply put, everything about a human being is written in genomes.
To decode and read this “book of life”, the HGP was initiated.
Logo of the Human Genome Project
From 1990 to 2003, over two thousand scientists and professionals of related disciplines from multiple universities and research institutes in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, and China worked closely to explore the complete set of human genes and construct the results into the complete sequence of DNA bases in the human genome. Most importantly, they made all information accessible and open to all.
The International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium at the 5th Strategic Meeting, August 31, 1999, Hinxton, UK
Along with the Manhattan Project and Apollo Program, HGP was cited as the greatest scientific project in the 20th century.
Contribution from China
As the only developing country that participated in the project, China was committed to sequencing, assembly, and analysis part of the tip of the short arm of chromosome 3, which was then estimated to account for about 1% of the entire human genome. Thus, this project was called the “1% Project”, also known as the “Chinese Chapter of the Human Genome Sequence”, or the “Beijing Region” of the human genome because all the sequenced overlapping BAC (Bacterial Artificial Chromosome) clones are labeled “Beijing”.
It is hard to believe if it were not for the bold action of a bunch of enthusiastic young Chinese scientists, China would be left out from this groundbreaking international scientific collaboration in the last century – or the biggest one in human history ever since. While the mainstream Chinese scholars were still debating whether China should be part of the project, these proactive young men and women quietly started their work. They saved the spot for this ancient eastern Asian country in this global science endeavor on the new millennium.
The Chinese Human Genome Consortium (CHGC), a science organization created for HGP, was composed of 15 teams from the Northern Center of National Human Genome Center (Beijing), the Southern Center of National Human Genome Center (Shanghai), the Human Genomics Center of the Institute of Genetics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, as well as Xi’an Jiaotong University, Southeast China University, and other institutions.
And this ship would not sail without the effort of another institute – BGI. On 09:09:09 am, September 1999, BGI was established.
The commitment to the HGP means that China had to complete 500,000 successful Sanger sequencing reactions within six months between October 1999 and March 2000. With minimal budget, equipment, and workforce, the “1% Project” began almost from ground zero.
In a poorly refurbished laboratory, these BGI scientists were racing against the clock using simple tools working on benches made with packing boxes. Everyone took terms to look after the running of sequencers. At night shift, they put two taborets together as a bed next to the sequencer and slept on it with their coats on for few hours, waiting for the sequencing result.
BGI scientists work in the laboratory. The top sign read, “We may be poor, but we will never be defeated!” (1999)
Despite the less-than-optimal condition, all laboratorians received intensive and strict training and mastered all required skills for the sequencing task. They repeated the same sequencing procedure at least 13 times to check the accuracy of the data of merely 628Kb.
Finally, with the joint effort of all teams, the CHGC submitted 64 Mb (a million of base pairs) raw data for the human genome “draft sequence” before the announcement of the “Human Genome Draft Sequence” on 26 June 2000. CHGC also submitted 38 Mb data of high-quality “finished sequence” for the fine sequence paper on the human genome published on Nature in Oct 2004. The fine sequence of the human chromosome 3 was finally published in Nature in April 2006.
“And I’d also like to acknowledge the contributions not only that their (UK, Japan, Germany, France) scientists, but also scientists from China, made to the vast international consortium that is the Human Genome Project.” Joint by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair via satellite connection, the then-US President Bill Clinton paid his tribute to HGP scientists, including the Chinese scientists, in the White House on June 26, 2000. “The vigorous involvement of talented colleagues in other countries, now including China, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom, have made this project particularly gratifying to me.”
The participation of Chinese scientists made HGP a true international collaboration accomplished by both developed and developing countries in human history. The action of Chinese scientists serves as a milestone for the Chinese science research to play an increasingly important role on the global stage as it is doing now.Part 2 Today The butterfly effect of HGP has transcended through time and space, which significantly reshaped our lives in economy, research method, tool, field application, and more.
Impact on World Economy
HGP offered numerous new markets and business opportunities around the globe, and its impact on the world’s economy is unquantifiable. From 1988 to 2010, in the US alone, HGP created more than 3.8 million jobs across all 50 states, $793.3 billion total economic output, and $78.4 billion total tax revenue. For every $1 invested in the project, it has helped to generate $141 in return.
Impact on Research Methods
HGP enabled new research methods, which allows scientists to review human beings and other organisms from a new perspective for the first time. The discovery and cataloging of human genes provided a blueprint for human beings and transformed our understanding of human evolution. New disciplines such as proteomics are emerged based on the results of HGP which grant scientist new ways to explore the mechanism and explain the specific phenomenon of our discrete biological compartments from different angles.
Today’s scientists cannot imagine conducting any biological-related research without the high-throughput sequencing technology developed by HGP. In 2008, Nature released the first complete genome sequence of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples. The researchers found eight new gene mutations in cancer cells by comparing them with samples of normal skin cells. This breakthrough study shows that genome sequencing can discover new gene mutations that may cause tumors, which traditional techniques may not find. This finding also provides a series of potential biological targets for future drug research.
This study marks the beginning of cancer genome sequencing research. It sheds light on how genome sequencing technology can be used to study complex diseases such as cancer.
Impact on Development of Tools and Field Application
HGP drove the development of research and testing tools. The sophisticated computational and mathematical approaches brought by computer scientists, mathematicians, engineers, theoretical physicists, and biologists in HGP paved the way for better, faster, and more comprehensive research in biology.
Twenty-one years ago, with the cost of $3.8 billion, over 2,000 world’s brightest scientists spent 13 years sequencing a person’s complete genome. Today it takes only one machine in 24 hours for $500 to do the same job.
Technicians operate an MGI DNBSEQ-T7 high-throughput sequencer which can output 1-6Tb of high-quality data per day.
The advancement of genetic technology has pushed the cost of sequencing to drop faster than “Moore’s Law”. This development led to countless discoveries in life sciences and the coverage of large-scale genetic screening for diseases and potential genetic risks that benefit tens of millions of people. Imagine that shortly, the screening of major diseases (such as Down’s syndrome, deafness, cervical cancer, bowel cancer, etc.) will be as simple and affordable as a COVID-19 test. By then, the focus of our healthcare can be shifted from “precision treatment” to “precision prevention”, and ultimately achieve “precision health”.
And this is happening in China. With the policy and technical support, in 2012, the city of Tianjin initiated a genetic testing project for neonatal hereditary deafness. Genetic screening can detect congenital deafness and late-onset deafness early and provide patients with early diagnosis and treatment.
Between 2012 and 2019, BGI provided tests for approximately 600,000 newborns in Tianjin, with a coverage rate of over 70%. Many of the newborns were saved from late-onset or drug-induced deafness. This project reduced the number of students in Tianjin School for the Deaf by 80%.
Impact on Research Pattern
HGP brought an all-new research pattern by presenting the power and necessity of integrating disciplines, or “big science”. It conveyed a clear message that biological and technological research efforts can be integrated to tangle complicated subject in biology.
Also, advanced sequencing technology offers data in a considerable quantity that no one has ever imagined before. A new “big-data-driven” research pattern is quietly revolutionizing the mainstream hypothesis-driven research pattern. Until now, most people, including scientists, are still in the process of understanding and accept the importance and far-reaching significance of this change.
Impact on Science Spirit
More importantly, the HGP has gifted the science world a precious legacy – the HGP Spirit of “Needed by All, Owned by All, Done by All, and Shared by All” proposed by the Chinese scientists and endorsed by the HGP community. This spirit has nurtured a culture of collaboration for later international cooperation and the future generation of scientists. The International HapMap Project, the International 1000 Genome Project, the International Cancer Genome Project, the Global BioGenome Project, and dozens of other internationally collaborative projects were guided by the HGP Spirit.
Part 3 The Next 21 Years What does it look like in the next 21 years? Though there is yet to have a concrete answer to this question (or perhaps there will not be one), it will not hurt to make predictions from where we stand today.
Accessible genome sequencing will fundamentally change our social system. With the dropping price of personal genome sequencing, soon we will be able to sequence everyone and have it as an essential social service, like issuing a citizen ID. And this – sequencing all human beings – will become the biggest biological, social, and technical project in human history.
The data, or Personal Digital Genomes will be stored in a secured data center or bio-information center permanently as non-renewable precious biomedical information. Together with Digital Healthcare System and Digital Life System, we can manage our health and life condition throughout the whole life cycle.
The creation and adoption of this project will change the current biomedical research, healthcare system and even changes the integration of medical insurance, social insurance, life insurance, pension, and nursing care.
With the data in hand, the scientific research will no longer take ten or one hundred people as samples, but 10,000 or one million. Also, medical research will not take disease diagnosis as the starting point but based on preclinical symptoms and health assessment.
Inspired by the HGP, scientists were set to explore a more prominent target – our planet earth. Together with BGI, scientists from multiple countries join to initiate the Earth BioGenome Project. Launched on November 1, 2018, this project aims to sequence and catalog the genomes of all of earth’s currently described eukaryotic species over ten years.
With all the animals, plants, microorganisms, fungi, and people on the earth are sequenced, our knowledge of zoonotic diseases (such as SARS, hydatid disease, etc.), gene “drift” between plants and soil, and more will never be the same. Humans will be able to review ourselves in a broader spectrum and digitally connect with every organism to form the “Internet of Lives”.
HGP is the end of a beginning. It waged a conquest to the unknown and started a voyage to the promised land, where “our children’s children will know the term cancer only as a constellation of stars.”
“In coming years, doctors increasingly will be able to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and cancer by attacking their genetic roots … In fact, it is now conceivable that our children’s children will know the term cancer only as a constellation of stars.”
– Bill Clinton, Draft of the Human Genome Sequence Announcement at the White House, June 26, 2000.