Chinese Scientist Who Created Gene-Edited Babies Lied and Skirted Regulations, Officials Say

Live Science | 1/22/2019 | Staff
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The researcher who created genetically modified babies behaved improperly, authorities in China said yesterday (Jan. 21).

Jiankui He, the Chinese scientist whose efforts produced the world's first gene-edited babies, did so through forgery and subterfuge, deliberately skirting the proper channels in the pursuit of personal fame, officials in China told Xinhua News (China's state-run press agency).

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He drew severe criticism from scientists around the world in November 2018, when he announced the birth of twin girls whose embryos he had genetically modified. Using the gene-editing tool CRISPR/Cas9, He removed a gene linked to HIV. However, many criticized his work as premature and irresponsible, with unknown future repercussions for the twins.

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Investigators found that He's work "seriously violated ethical principles and scientific integrity," Xinhua News reported. Technologies used for the experiments did not have adequate safety and effectiveness guarantees, and He presented a fake ethical review certificate when he recruited eight volunteer couples for experiments conducted from March 2017 to November 2018, according to the investigation.

For the study, He selected couples in which the men tested positive for HIV, while the women tested negative....
(Excerpt) Read more at: Live Science
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