First Gene-Edited Babies Prompt Official Investigation in China

First Gene-Edited Babies Prompt Official Investigation in China

He, 34 and a father of two girls, studied at Stanford University and Rice University before returning to China, where he runs two genetics companies and a lab at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in Shenzhen.

The result He claims, was newborn twin girls, who have been bestowed with immunity to HIV through CRISPR edited DNA.

A prominent American scientist is warning against a backlash to the claim that a Chinese scientist has helped make the world's first gene-edited babies. "Lulu and Nana were just a single cell when the surgery removed the doorway through which HIV enters to infect people".

China's National Health Commission said on Monday it was "highly concerned" and had ordered provincial health officials "to immediately investigate and clarify the matter".

He is now under investigation by his university, the Chinese government and the hospital he claims gave him ethical approval for the trial.

The Shenzhen Health and Family Planning Commission said it had not received an ethical assessment application for the study.

A follow-up report from MIT Technology Review noted that the Shenzhen City Medical Ethics Expert Board will also be investigating He's research.

He's University, Southern University of Science and Technology, said in a statement that the researcher has been on leave since February 1.

With all this in mind, any research in this area needs to be peer-reviewed and published in the scientific literature, with all the necessary preliminary work, so that we can make a valued analysis of the technique. He did not report to the school or the department of biology. Unconventionally, he made the announcement at an worldwide gene editing conference and in interviews with the Associated Press.

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A Chinese researcher says he's the first person to successfully "edit" the genes of babies before birth in a practice the United States bans as unsafe and unethical.

The Chinese researcher said he practiced editing mice, monkey and human embryos in the lab for several years and has applied for patents on his methods. However, despite the concerns of the professionals, a recent study suggested that the Chinese public is broadly in favor of using gene-editing for medical purposes based on an online survey conducted by Sun Yat-Sen University.

He added that he had initially funded the experiment by himself. "It risks creating a new, genetically modified elite ... who can't get sick but passes it on to other people", Eben Kirksey, an associate professor of anthropology at Deakin University, told The Guardian.

"I disagree with the notion of stepping out of the general consensus of the scientific community", Hurlbut said.

"That is helpful for parents and that can increase their chances of having a healthy baby, but that's very different from manipulating the embryo itself", said Goodman.

The document, which was signed by committee members in June in 2017, said the research aimed to assess the safety of gene therapy in major genetic-related diseases and infertility. "And there are effective treatments if one does contract it", Savulescu said.

Dr. Matthew Porteus, a genetics researcher at Stanford University, where He did postdoctoral research, said He told him in February that he meant to try human gene editing.

Editing the genes of embryos is banned in many countries because DNA changes passed to future generations could have unanticipated effects on the entire gene pool. They also posted quotations from the late British scientist Stephen Hawking, who spoke of the "significant political problems" posed by humans who have not been genetically modified. The children were not at risk of contracting HIV at birth and he said there were many ways to avoid HIV infection later in life.

As for any children that were conceived through the project, He said he would provide health insurance coverage for them and follow-up with them until they reach 18 or longer if they agree as adults.

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