Published: Fri, November 30, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Scientist hints at another gene-edited baby

Scientist hints at another gene-edited baby

He Jiankui has told detractors at a conference in Hong Kong he's proud of his work.

It was first announced earlier this week that Prof He had altered the DNA of embryos - twin girls - to prevent them from contracting HIV. Although he still hasn't published any real evidence, scientists across the world were quick to condemn the ethically dubious claims, describing the experiment as "deeply concerning", "shocking", and "monstrous". But many other scientists seemed highly skeptical, with a conference organiser calling his actions irresponsible.

He's experiment has also prompted criticism from the global and domestic scientific community, with some denouncing it as premature and risky. Such work is banned in most countries.

"The volunteers were informed of the risk posed by the existence of one potential off-target and they made a decision to implant", he said.

Dr. Jennifer Doudna, co-inventor of the gene-editing tool that He allegedly used, told ABC News the scientific community is "struggling to understand" his claims. "And we did not hear answers to those questions". "For this specific case, I feel proud, actually, I feel proudest". "It's an appalling example of what not to do about a promising technology that has great potential to benefit society". Now the door is open to this and will never close again. He's claims have not been independently confirmed.

He Jiankui, of Shenzhen, spoke at the Human Genome Editing Conference in Hong Kong where his experiment was called "irresponsible". "There is a standard protocol for treating the mother who is not HIV-positive", Zhang said.

Gene editing to treat diseases has been tried in adults recently, and in that case, the changes are limited to that one person. HIV is not an appropriate candidate because there are already safe ways to prevent transmission, and if contracted it can be kept under control with medications, researchers said.

"I first must apologize that this result leaked unexpectedly, taking away from the community of the full data being presented immediately in a scientific venue", He said.

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He blamed countries in Central and South America for large flows of migrants trying to reach and enter the United States . A separate video showed her talking about "liberal folks" and making it "just a little more difficult" for them to vote.

Before Mr He's talk, Dr George Daley, Harvard Medical School's dean and one of the conference organisers, warned against a backlash to gene editing because of Mr He's experiment.

"It would be really unfortunate.to have the world looking at the first two genome-edited children because think of the pressure that's going to put them under", said Lovell-Badge.

Following He's revelations, Chinese authorities denounced his work and ordered a probe into his trials.

He's claims has set off a firestorm of skepticism and criticism.

John Christodoulou, chair of genomic medicine at the University of Melbourne, said it seemed the research had "bypassed the usual ethical regulatory processes".

The regional governments of Beijing also include genetic editing technologies as part of its larger tech/science plans for the next several years.

"I knew his early work".

"I couldn't guarantee to you that he did what he claimed", she said. Experts said editing human embryos can create unintended mutations in other areas, known as "off-target effects", which can have an impact throughout the lifetime.

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