There’s still much we don’t know about world’s first gene-edited babies


A Chinese scientist has shocked the world with claims he used the genome editing technology CRISPR-Cas9 to manipulate the genes of two human embryos. …

No one knows exactly how He Jiankui, on leave from Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, did it. Scientists gathered in Hong Kong at an international summit on human genome editing will have to wait until Wednesday to hear He describe his work in more detail.

The claims have not been verified, but they are being taken seriously

While He has not yet released a scientific paper, his lab published five YouTube videos about its work Sunday [November 25] night. … Also: “We will publish our full data soon.”


Related article:  Chinese researcher's claims of gene-edited babies prompts investigation

The announcement led to an immediate outcry among other scientists

More than 120 Chinese scientists have co-signed a letter, released on China’s social media site Weibo, condemning He’s work and calling it “a strike at the reputation and development of China’s science, especially in biomedical research,” according to a translation by Quartz.

At least one scientist came to He’s defense

[Genetics pioneer George] Church told the AP that, when weighing the risks of using CRISPR against the public health threat of HIV, “I think this is justifiable.”

Read full, original post: What we know — and what we don’t — about the claim of world’s first gene-edited babies

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