China orders halt to gene-editing research work

Gwen Vasquez
December 1, 2018

Organisers of the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing denounced He Jiankui's "unexpected and deeply disturbing" claim that human embryos had been edited and implanted. Chinese scientists have expressed disapproval of Jiankui's research, stating that the use of the CRISPR-Cas9 tool is a "huge blow" to the reputation of Chinese biomedical research.

He claimed he used a technique called CRISPR/Cas9, which, if true, would be the first time the technique has been used to alter genes in unborn humans.

"For this case, I feel proud". CCR5 is naturally absent in about 1 percent of Europeans, leaving them essentially immune to HIV. He claims all of his tests of the girls showed they were completely healthy and normal. Several scientists, including Doudna, described him as "naive".

Neither He nor Southern University of Science and Technology responded to requests for comment.

Irresponsible: After his presentation, He was quizzed by audience members about his work.

Wei also said that He had dodged his questions about the medical need to edit human genomes for HIV immunity.

"Gene editing itself is experimental and is still associated with off-target mutations, capable of causing genetic problems early and later in life, including the development of cancer", he told the BBC. In addition to that, the removal of the gene, known as CCR5, could make the babies vulnerable to other infections such as West Nile virus, though the informed consent has no reference to this.

"Scientists who go rogue ... it carries a deep, deep cost to the scientific community", Daley said.

"The events in Hong Kong this week clearly demonstrate the need for us to develop more specific standards and principles that can be agreed upon by the global scientific community", NAS president Marcia McNutt and NAM president Victor Dzau said in a statement. "I personally don't think it was medically necessary". The couples had received hours of counselling before the procedure, with He promising that he would improve their children as well as making them resistant to HIV.

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"Pandora's box has been opened".

"We don't know yet whether that was fabricated", Qiu said of the papers.

After word first leaked of He's project through news reports, scientists criticized the effort as irresponsible and premature.

After testing one of the twins is suggested to have both copies of the intended altered gene, while the other twin has just one, with no evidence of harm to other genes.

Instead, it acknowledged that the field was moving toward a future where the procedures would be widely researched in clinical trials, and that researchers needed a rigorous framework to set ethical standards and guidelines.

Baltimore added, "I don't think it has been a transparent process". He says it is totally inappropriate to use gene editing to select hair or eye color, or to boost IQ; such a use, he says in the video, "is not what a loving parent does".

Hours after the summit closed Thursday, a high-ranking Chinese official told a state broadcaster that He's project has been suspended amid a government investigation. Deem said he was in China when the participants agreed to the trial, and that they were aware of the risks.

He made this sensational (in all senses) claim at a press conference in Hong Kong on 26th November, adding that "society will decide what to do next".

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