Second Case of Gene-edited Baby Confirmed in China

A Chinese researcher, who has affirmed himself as the first scientist to create genetically-edited babies is set to confront police investigation in China, the state media reported on Monday. According to the state authorities, it is the second case of a woman getting pregnant by the genetically-editing process. In late in last November, He Jiankui had announced that he had successfully altered the genes of twin girls to safeguard both of them from becoming infected by HIV and surprised whole scientific community. He recently informed the Hong Kong human genome forum that is has been experimenting on the second couple, and there is potential pregnancy.

The federal authorities of China have investigated whether the women involved in the second case of gene-editing pregnancy exist. After confirming her existence, officials reported the news to the media. The mother, who has twin baby girls from the pregnancy will be under medical observation, officials reported. According to the media, federal authorities have found that He had imitated ethical documents, and purposefully refused supervision. The scientist has secretly initiated a project, which also includes foreign staff and operated illegal human embryo gene-editing process through uncertain safety and effectiveness technology.

Investigators concluded that the scientist has been seeking personal fame and he devoted a self-raised fund for the arguable experiment. He has hired eight couple, in which fathers are HIV-positive positive and mothers are HIV-negative. Any additional details regarding the experiment were not verified, that fueled the global scientific community and the Chinese government to backlash the activity.  Chinese authorities have ordered to end up the research work after He had announced it publicly; as such illegal experiments are banned all over the world. Serious legal action will be taken against the scientist. His case will be shifted to the public security organs department, investigators informed.

He was speaking at the genome summit in Hong Kong, where he said that he had felt proud for gene-edited babies, and he had striven to clean a blemish stuck to AIDS patients in China. He Jiankui had studied at the Stanford University in the US. Later, he was appointed in Beijing to work for “Thousand Talents Plan” which was initiated for reverse brain drain, as per mentioned in his resume. Gene-editing is a very crucial and critical experiment which could cause to harm the individual and is future generations also. Thus the gene-editing of an embryo is not permitted for clinical trials as has numerous scientific and technical uncertainties.

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Sidney has been part of the core team since last 3 years. He covers news related to science and technology.

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