Chinese scientist He Jiankui (file photo)
Chinese scientist He Jiankui (file photo)

Experiment for gene-edited babies illegal: China

ANI | Updated: Jan 22, 2019 12:16 IST

Beijing [China], Jan 22 (ANI): The experiments conducted by scientist He Jiankui, which have led to the birth of the world's first gene-edited twins, have been termed as illegal by Chinese authorities.
"The case has been initially identified as an explicitly state-banned human embryo-editing activity for reproductive purposes conducted by He Jiankui," CNN quoted the Guangdong Province Health Commission as stating.
Investigators from the commission further added that Jiankui had conducted the experiments "in pursuit of personal fame and fortune, with self-raised funds and deliberate evasion of supervision and private recruitment of related personnel."
Furthermore, Chinese authorities believe that the scientist forged ethical review documents and blood tests to find a way around the ban on assisted reproduction for HIV-positive patients, CNN reported while quoting state media.
The authorities have stated that Jiankui and all the others involved in the experiments will be "dealt with seriously according to the law, and if suspected of crimes, they will be handed over to the public security bureau."
Meanwhile, the gene-edited babies and other pregnant volunteers will be closely observed by the government.
"For the born babies and pregnant volunteers, Guangdong Province will work with relevant parties to perform medical observation and follow-up visits under the guidance of relevant state departments," the commission stated.
The Chinese scientist sparked an international uproar last year when he claimed to have created the world's first gene-edited babies by modifying their embryos.
Scientists believe that Jiankui's experiment which modified genes will adversely affect the human gene pool, the impact of which cannot be seen until several generations later. (ANI)