Chinese scientist claims first gene-edited babies

BY APD NEWSNov 26,2018 at 12:50

Chinese scientist He Jiankui said that he helped make the world's first genetically edited babies – twin girls born this month whose DNA he said he altered with a powerful new tool capable of resisting possible future infection with HIV, the AIDS virus, according to People's Daily.

He revealed it in Hong Kong, one day ahead of an international conference on gene editing that is scheduled from Tuesday to Thursday.

He' team used the so-called CRISPR-cas9 method that makes it possible to precisely locate and operate on DNA to supply a needed gene or disable one that's causing problems.

However, "there is no independent confirmation of He's claim, and it has not been published in a journal, where it would be vetted by other experts," according to AP, who had an exclusive interview with the scientist earlier.

Gene-editing can also easily raise moral and ethical problems. Some scientists condemned such "experiment on human beings," while others, including one famed geneticist, Harvard University's George Church, defended the attempting of gene editing for HIV, calling it "justifiable".


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