Controversial Chinese scientist behind CRISPR babies is missing

He
He Jiankui at the second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, held last week in Hong Kong. Chinese media reports that he has not been seen since. Image credit: Associated Press

The current whereabouts of He Jiankui—the scientist who claims to have engineered the world’s first genetically modified human babies—is unknown. Rumors are now circulating that he’s been detained by the Chinese government.

The last that anyone has seen or heard from He Jiankui was on Wednesday November 28, after he spoke in Hong Kong at the second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, the South China Morning Post reports.

The scientist is currently mired in an intense controversy after claiming to have produced the world’s first gene-edited babies. …

As reported by Newsweek, the Hong Kong-based publication Apple Daily claims the embattled scientist was summoned back to Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, where he works, at the close of the Hong Kong summit. Chen is apparently under house arrest on campus and security guards have been stationed on the university grounds, Apple Daily reports.

Related article:  New study shows CRISPR can be applied to produce biofortified rice

The Chinese government has a habit of making people disappear for extended periods of time, the most recent example being Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who went missing this past July. …

No evidence exists at this time to support the suggestion that He is being detained by the Chinese government, but it’s a possibility that has to be considered.

Read full, original post: Chinese Scientist Responsible for Gene-Edited Babies Has Reportedly Gone Missing

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