China vows to punish scientist who edited babies’ genes

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China says that the doctor who claimed to be behind the world’s first gene-edited babies could face punishment. 

Dr. He Jiankui and his collaborators are likely to face criminal charges, according to The New York Times, which cited a state media report. 

“This behavior seriously violates ethics and the integrity of scientific research, is in serious violation of relevant national regulations and creates a pernicious influence at home and abroad,” the report said, according to the Times.

{mosads}He announced last year that he used a gene-editing technique called Crispr to alter the DNA of human embryos. 

His announcement shocked the world’s scientific community, where there is a consensus that genetic modifications, which can be passed to future generations, should not be attempted.

He has been kept under guard at a guest house at the Southern University of Science and Technology during an investigation. 

China has lax regulations on such research, compared to countries like the U.S., and it’s not clear what specific laws He broke.



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