China suspends scientists who claim to have produced first gene-edited babies

China suspends scientists who claim to have produced first gene-edited babies

China suspends scientists who claim to have produced first gene-edited babies

"The whole scientific and medical community believes this happened too early, we simply have no idea what future risks there may be", he said.

The conference was rocked by the Chinese researcher's claim to have helped make the world's first gene-edited babies.

But details of the experiment, which has not been independently verified, triggered an immediate backlash and He said the trial had been halted. But she notes, "one of the dangers of this kind of-I feel premature-study is that it muddies the waters and tarnishes the technology in this area at a time when we should be celebrating it and working together carefully to ensure that it's used safely". "The choice of the diseases that we heard discussions about earlier today are much more pressing" than trying to prevent HIV infection this way, he said.

China's National Health Commission has ordered an investigation into He Jiankui's experiment, which was condemned by the scientific community in China and overseas.

He Jiankui used a gene-editing technology to alter the embryonic genes of twin girls.

Several prominent scientists said the case showed a failure of the field to police itself and the need for stricter principles or regulations.

He Jiankui, an associate professor at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, spoke on Wednesday at an worldwide conference on genome editing in Hong Kong.

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Asked whether there were any other edited gene pregnancies as part of his trials, He said there was another "potential" pregnancy and replied "yes" to a follow-up question as to whether it was a "chemical pregnancy", which refers to an early-stage miscarriage.

The case prompted a heated debate among the scientific community, with many raising concerns over the lack of verified data and the risks of exposing healthy embryos to gene editing.

He Jiankui, a professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUST) in Shenzhen, said the twins - identified as "Lulu" and "Nana" - had their embryos' DNA changed using a method known as.

All couples he recruited for this study had an HIV-positive father, and a non-infected mother. The Shenzhen City Medical Ethics Expert Board also plans to investigate.

Nobel laureate David Baltimore called He's work irresponsible. Although he still hasn't published any real evidence, scientists across the world were quick to condemn the ethically dubious claims, describing the experiment as "deeply concerning", "shocking", and "monstrous". He, who has reportedly been suspended from his post at the Southern University of Science and Technology since February of this year, knows the stances of his many peers and did it anyway. "Had he been more open with what he was doing, it could have been part of a national or global discussion", he said.

He, who was educated at Stanford University, said the twins' DNA was modified using CRISPR, a technique which allows scientists to remove and replace a strand with pinpoint precision.

"It would be really unfortunate.to have the world looking at the first two genome-edited children because think of the pressure that's going to put them under", said Lovell-Badge.

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