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China Orders Probe After Scientist Claims 1st Gene-Edited Babies

Chinese health and medical ethics authorities started an investigation on Monday into claims by a scientist who released videos on YouTube saying he had altered the genes of twins born earlier this month, creating the first gene edited babies. The Southern University of Science and Technology in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, where the scientist, He Jiankui, holds an associate professorship, said it had been unaware of the research project and that He had been on leave without pay since February. He Jiankui defended what he claimed to have achieved, saying he had performed the gene editing to help protect the babies from future infection with the AIDS virus. But his university said it was a "serious violation of academic ethics and standards" and scientists around the world condemned it as monstrous and dangerous. The university issued a statement after He said in five videos posted on Monday that he used a gene-editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9 to edit the genes of twin girls. China's National Health Commission said it was "highly concerned" and had ordered provincial health officials "to immediately investigate and clarify the matter". "We have to be responsible for the people's health and will act on this according to the law," it said in a statement. Shenzhen's medical ethics committee said it was investigating the case. The Guangdong provincial health commission was also looking into it, according to Southern Metropolis Daily, a state media outlet. He said in one YouTube video that the editing process, which he called gene surgery, "worked safely as intended" and that the resulting twins were "as healthy as any other babies." It was impossible to verify the claims as He did not provide any written documentation of his research. CRISPR-Cas9 is a technology that allows scientists to essentially cut-and-paste DNA, raising... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, China Orders Probe After Scientist Claims 1st Gene-Edited Babies, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you China Orders Probe After Scientist Claims 1st Gene-Edited Babies

 

 

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Published By: VOA NEWS - Monday, 26 November

 

 

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