Chinese scientist who claimed gene-editing success now missing: report

The Chinese scientist who claimed to have created the world's first gene-edited babies, He Jiankui, is missing after his former employers denied that he was detained over the weekend, the South China Morning Post reports.

A spokeswoman for his former workplace, the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, denied reports that He was being detained.

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“Right now nobody’s information is accurate, only the official channels are," the spokeswoman told the newspaper, while also declining to elaborate. 

He apparently hasn't been seen publicly since making an appearance at a scientific summit on Wednesday. 

He said last week that he had altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments.

Two of the embryos were those of twin baby girls, whose DNA he altered to helped them resist AIDS. 

He said that the girls were born "normal and healthy."

The controversial work has earned He the nickname of "Chinese Frankenstein," according to South China Morning Post, and many scientists have expressed worry about his reported work.

He's university said it would hire investigators to look into He's claims and, if they are true, that He would have "seriously violated academic ethics and standards."

Local authorities also began investigating He's work.

He is also being investigated by China's National Health Commission on the experiment and a top Ministry of Science and Technology official told state media He's work was "extremely abominable," according to Time magazine.