The Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI Group) is currently the largest genome research institute globally, and it provides prenatal tests recommended by doctors around the world for pregnant women. The prenatal test is one of the most popular worldwide, and it is used in more than 52 countries. Just like other prenatal tests, the one sold by the BGI Group detects several abnormalities in the fetus, such as Down syndrome. According to Reuters, the ‘Non-Invasive Fetal TrisomY’ test (NIFTY) sold by BGI also collects other data from the scraps of blood remains.
BGI Group collaborated with the PLA
The article also mentions that the genome research institute collaborated with the Chinese military, known as the People’s Liberation Army. This collaboration improved the accuracy of the test, especially for early pregnancy, but, at the same time, the leftovers blood samples were used to collect human gene information.
What can the Chinese government do with the stored gene data?
The human genomes could be used in the future to help China dominate the pharmaceutical markets and create super soldiers for its PLA. The prenatal test stores information about the woman, such as her height, weight, country and others. The BGI test is not a standard procedure, and so far, 8 million women worldwide have taken it. The article also mentioned that from one BGI study, the involved parties found out, for example, what the prevalence of viruses in Chinese women is, and studied the genetics of the Chinese minorities such as Tibetan and Uyghur. This might help create super soldiers who will not develop mental illnesses, hearing problems and more.
BGI stored the DNA data of all prenatal tests
It seems that the BGI and PLA are not only interested in studying the genes of Chinese women but also worldwide. The research found that even the DNA data of women outside China has been preserved in a database founded by the Chinese government.