In DepthGENE EDITING

Government report blasts creator of CRISPR twins

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Science  25 Jan 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6425, pp. 328
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6425.328

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Summary

The Chinese researcher who proudly proclaimed that he had edited the genomes of twin baby girls has been found to have deliberately violated laws and regulations and will face appropriate punishment, according to preliminary results from a governmental investigation. He Jiankui, the researcher at the heart of the experiments, earned condemnation from researchers worldwide, because he crossed a line in conducting research using an experimental technique that may cause unintended health complications for the babies. Many researchers worried authorities might overlook He's infractions. But the preliminary results apparently indicate otherwise. The Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, announced it was rescinding He's contract as an associate professor and terminating his teaching and research activities. Chinese scientists also confirm that government and academic agencies are working to update gene-editing policies and regulations.

  • * With reporting by Jon Cohen.