The scientist responsible for creating the world’s first genetically modified babies violated government bans and committed fraud, according to Chinese investigators. He Jiankui—and those who helped him—will reportedly now be handed over to security authorities and “severely dealt with.”
Officials in Guangdong Province have completed a preliminary investigation of He’s activities, accusing the embattled scientist of violating federal laws and saying he did so “in the pursuit of personal fame and gain,” Xinhua News Agency reported earlier today [January 21]. In addition, the investigators said He forged documents, faked lab work, operated clandestinely after funding his own project, and recruited other scientists to conduct the work. He, along with the other unnamed individuals involved, “will be transferred to public security authorities” and “severely dealt with according to the law,” officials told Xinhua, as relayed by the Wall Street Journal.
The accusations levied at He were bad, no doubt, but this latest development is really bad. As the WSJ pointed out, it’s the first time the Chinese government has acknowledged the births (despite China suspending the scientist and launching an investigation), and it’s the first hint of He’s fate.
Looking ahead, He, “as well as other relevant personnel and organizations, will receive punishment according to laws and regulations,” wrote Xinhua, adding that those “who are suspected of committing crimes will be transferred to the public security department.”
Read full, original post: China Says Gene-Editing Scientist Broke Laws to Pursue ‘Personal Fame and Gain’