China uses Y chromosome technology to build database of country’s males

China uses Y chromosome technology to build database of country’s males

Police in China are collecting blood samples from males across the country to build a genetic map of its roughly 700 million males, with the help of US company, Thermo Fisher, The New York Times reports.

It reports that, using Y chromosome technology, Chinese authorities have been collecting samples since late 2017 to build a vast DNA database which will give them, ‘more powers to run its emerging high-tech surveillance state’, according to a study published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

The report claims that the database will allow authorities to track down an individual’s relatives using only his blood, saliva or other genetic material. A specially tailored testing kit is being used by Chinese police that can identify specific markers within an individual’s sample. 

Chinese police say they need the database to help catch criminals and that donors consent to giving their DNA, although some rights activists argue that living in an authoritarian state gives then no rights to refuse collection in the first place, and that a national database compromises the human rights of its citizens and could tempt officials into punishing family members of uncaught criminals and dissidents.

The Chinese authorities say they are collecting DNA samples from men and boys because they commit more crimes, statistics show.

In November 2017, the Ministry of Public Security which governs the police, unveiled plans for a national database. It followed calls from the state media for the creation of a database when a man confessed to murder after his DNA was matched to that of another man who had been arrested on unrelated charges. The arrested man gave a DNA sample which showed he was related to an individual who had left DNA at the site of an historic murder. His relative was tracked down and he confessed to the crime.

The New York Times reports that the project includes collecting DNA from male adults as well as school-aged boys. It says the Australian institute estimates that Chinese authorities aim to collect DNA samples from 42 – 70 million men and boys. They do not need to collect the sample of every male because one person’s DNA sample can unlock the genetic identity of male relatives, using Y chromosome technology.

AlphaBiolabs uses the same technology to help males prove a biological relationship to a possible father, where he is not available for testing. A son inherits his Y chromosome from his father, and the chromosome does not change from father to son.

Since the Y chromosome mutates once every 10,000 years, it is possible to analyze and compare test participants for biological relatedness through the paternal family line. If the males in question are related, their Y chromosome will be identical. The test cannot identify whether the participants are father and son, grandfather or grandson, uncle or nephew, etc. It only proves that the two males are paternally related.

AlphaBiolabs offers a full range of DNA relationship testing, which you can order direct from our website. Further details on our Y chromosome DNA testing can be found here. Alternatively, contact us via Live Chat or call now at 727-325-2902.

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