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On Monday, just hours after Chinese authorities confirmed the birth of twin girls whose DNA was purportedly edited by scientist He Jiankui, the university that employed He announced his termination.
It looks increasingly likely that he will face criminal charges, although a Western scientist that has been communicating with him said He is currently under protective custody rather than house arrest.
Southern - University - Science - Technology - Shenzhen
The Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen announced on Monday that it will “rescind the work contract with Dr. Jiankui He and terminate any of his teaching and research activities,” effective immediately.
Monday’s report from investigators in China’s Guangdong province suggested he will face prosecution for violating medical ethics laws. CBS News quoted bioethicist Dr. William Hurlbut of Stanford contradicting rumors that He is already under house arrest.
Hurlbut - Jiankui - Profile - Incommunicado - Individuals
According to Hurlbut, He Jiankui is keeping a low profile but is not being held incommunicado, and ominous individuals spotted around his apartment are there for his protection not to keep him under house arrest.
Hurlbut said he spoke with He as recently as last week and found him “calm,” “thoughtful,” and pondering “what he should have done differently.” The Chinese scientist told Hurlbut the authorities are treating him “respectfully,” and the plainclothes officers posted around his university apartment have instructions to keep the media and other unwelcome visitors at bay. He said he was permitted to walk around the university campus if he wished, which is not quite the same thing as having unrestricted freedom of movement.
China - State-run - Global - Times - Tuesday
China’s state-run Global Times on Tuesday signaled He Jiankui can expect prosecution for defying bans on editing the DNA of human embryos while admitting China’s laws on the matter are vague...
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