Chinese scientist claims to create world's first CRISPR babies

A scientist in China has been under controversy for allegedly using CRISPR technology to create gene-edited babies.

    2018/11/27

NSFW    CHINA — A scientist in China has been under scrutiny for allegedly using CRISPR, a gene-editing tool, to create the first gene-edited babies.

In describing his process of gene-editing, He Jiankui said he first "washed" the sperm to separate it from semen and then placed the sperm into a single egg to create an embryo during in vitro fertilization.

After the embryo was 3 to 5 days old, CRISPR-cas9 was used to remove a gene called CCR5.

The scientist claims he previously experimented on editing the DNA of mice, monkey and human embryos in his lab for several years.

He claims he altered the DNA to make the babies immune to HIV, according to the Associated Press.

He also claims the gene surgery was a success and produced twin baby girls.

The participants of the study were reportedly told that gene-editing was similar to a vaccine and were made to sign a consent form in which they were told that gene editing on an embryo has never been tried before and carries risks.

An immediate investigation has been ordered into He's claims of having created the world's first genetically-edited babies, according to the National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China.

The hospital He claims to have conducted the research in has denied any involvement with the surgery and said the babies weren't born there.

Shenzhen Hermonicare Women's and Children's Hospital also said they plan to conduct an internal investigation on two doctors in their hospital that the Chinese scientist claims were also involved.
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