Professor says he's 'proud' of alleged genetically edited human embryos

Chinese Scientist Claims to Have Created the First Gene Edited Babies Using CRISPR

An expert with the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Center for Bioethics told local media that He's justification for editing human embryo genes - to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS by "creating" humans immune to the infectious disease - was "deplorable".as HIV/AIDS could be prevented and treated via other means proven to be effective.

The conference was rocked by Chinese researcher He Jiankui's claim to have helped make the world's first gene-edited babies, twin girls he said were born earlier this month.

He Jiankui, of Shenzhen, spoke at the Human Genome Editing Conference in Hong Kong where his experiment was called "irresponsible". Gene editing of this sort is banned in the United States due to fear of the DNA changes being passed to future generations with the risk of harm to other genes.

Tampering with genes of human embryos is outlawed in many countries.

Due to the unknown consequences associated with gene editing, which is still in its infancy, Feng Zhang, one of the inventors of the gene-editing technique CRISPR and member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, has called for a prohibition on using CRISPR to edit the genes of babies.

He said there was "another potential pregnancy" involving a second couple but when questioned further, he said it was a chemical pregnancy - a term referring to an early miscarriage.

The official response followed a statement from the Southern University of Science and Technology, which admitted that He's work constituted "serious violations of academic ethics and norms". "Progress over the last three years and the discussions at the current summit, . suggest that it is time to define a rigorous, responsible. pathway toward such trials", said Baltimore, a Nobel-prize winning USA biologist.

Summit chair David Baltimore, a Nobel laureate, said there had been "a failure of self-regulation by the scientific community". Scientists from across the globe lambasted He's experiment.

The claims were "shocking and unacceptable" and breached "the bottom line of morality and ethics that the academic community adheres to", he told CCTV.

The National Health Commission has already said Prof He's work "seriously violates China's laws, regulations and ethical standards" and would investigate the claims.

And he insisted that the parents of the twins and seven other couples who had participated in his research were fully informed of the risks involved, and that they understood what was being done to their embryos.

He said after his presentation on Wednesday he was proud of what he had done.

"The volunteers were informed of the risk posed by the existence of one potential off-target and they made a decision to implant", he said.

Amid a fiery outcry from the scientific community, He Jiankui's gene-editing project has been suspended amid a Chinese government investigation.

Dr Daley said that just because the first case may have been a mis-step, this "should in no way, I think, lead us to stick our heads in the sand and not consider the very, very positive aspects that could come forth by a more responsible pathway".

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Trump says he's willing to shut down government over border wall funding
The debate is being carried out as a caravan of Central American migrants at the US-Mexico border has been making headlines. And the journey, which began for majority in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, is also taking a physical toll.

Priyanka Chopra And Nick Jonas' Wedding Celebrations Begin With Puja. See Pics
While Priyanka was in the capital shooting for her film until a few days back, fiancé Nick Jonas landed in India last week. As per reports that are doing the rounds, Shruti's wedding will be a two-day affair with sangeet and mehendi functions.

Afghanistan: Car bomb explodes in Kabul, at least six wounded
A statement from the group said: "We can confirm that there has been an incident at one of our locations in Kabul ". Eyewitnesses said that eight wounded were taken to Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital following the explosion.

Someone editing the DNA of human embryos was probably unavoidable
He also faces probes by the Shenzhen City Medical Ethics Expert Board and the Chinese Academy of Science's academic division. He defended the work, saying gene editing would help protect the girls from infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Man Utd move for Arnautovic depends on Mourinho future
Per the Telegraph , a January move is possible, but only if Jose Mourinho is seen as the long term manager at the club.

Pixel 3 Lite Caught Posing Next to iPhone XR, Pixel 3 XL
The alleged Google Pixel Lite is stacked against Google Pixel, Pixel 3 XL , iPhone XS, iPhone X, iPhone XR . From the image also, it looks like the Pixel 3 Lite might not have stereo front speakers like the Pixel 3 .

NASA's Mars InSight is landing today
The suite of geophysical instruments on InSight sounds like a doctor's bag, giving Mars its first "checkup" since it formed. The odds are in NASA's favor, but it will be some time until the world finds out whether the landing is successful.

Mexico to up security at border after migrants try to cross
The refugees are legally allowed to apply for asylum in the U.S. , but this process has been known to take as long as a year. Mexico's Interior Ministry said it would immediately deport those who tried to "violently" enter the USA from Tijuana.

GM to close 5 factories, including Hamtramck and Warren
General Motors says it plans to cease production of some models at three vehicle assembly plants in the US and Canada in 2019. Two transmission plants - one in White Marsh, Md., and another in Warren, Mich. - are also set to stop production.

Russian Federation and Ukraine involved in Black Sea naval standoff
Ukraine accused a Russian coastguard vessel, named the Don, of ramming one of its tugboats in "openly aggressive actions". Ukraine's foreign ministry said in a statement it wanted a clear response to the incident from the worldwide community.

Chelsea announce new N'Golo Kante contract with superb video tribute
French footballer N'Golo Kante has extended his stay with Chelsea as he signed a new five-year contract with the club. The loss leaves Chelsea seven points adrift of Manchester City , leaving Sarri unhappy.

Six isolated tribe encounters: The results are usually violent
He wrote that the tribesmen reacted angrily, adding that they were about 5 feet, 5 inches tall and had yellow paint on their face. Officials typically don't travel to the North Sentinel area, where people live as their ancestors did thousands of years ago.

"John Wall Fined After Telling Coach Scott Brooks 'F--k You:" Report
The former Kentucky point guard can team up with fellow United Kingdom products Davis, Julius Randle, and Darius Miller. He is averaging 20.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game in 34.8 minutes.

Holly Willoughby will not be replaced on I'm A Celebrity
However, few could have predicted quite how extreme her reaction (s) would be as the first Bushtucker Trial took place. Atack replied "I would love that" and was then seen giving the sign of the cross before sitting down to pray.

Bitcoin Price Plunges to New Year Low ($4,480)
The startups were penalized after they organized token sales without registering cryptocurrencies as securities offerings. Here, a visual representation of the digital cryptocurrency bitcoin is seen alongside USA dollars in London, Dec. 7, 2017.

Other news