By: Kyle James | 12-04-2018 | News
Photo credit: @hackermaderas | Twitter

Chinese Researcher Who Revealed He Gene-Edited Babies Goes Missing

A little over a week ago, The Goldwater reported on a Chinese researcher who claimed to have successfully completed a study which genetically edited human babies to be more resistant to HIV. The use of the gene editing technology on human fetuses has been a bit of a taboo subject in the U.S. with only the fringe scientists daring go near the topic.

The Chinese researcher He Jiankui revealed the breakthrough birth of the gene edited babies at the Second International Summit On Human Genome Editing which took place at the end of November. Jiankui revealed last week that he had successfully altered embryos for seven volunteer couples during fertility treatments. The news shocked even the summit's organizers who were unaware of what Jiankui planned to announce.

Related coverage: China - Scientists Say They've Created The World's First Gene Edited Babies

He told the summit that two of the edited embryos were born healthy twin baby girls. It's not quite clear what happened to the other babies or if they have been born yet, but Jiankui had no independent confirmation of the results. Not long after the summit, the Chinese government arrested Jiankui and began an investigation. Reports from Chinese media said the researcher was put on house arrest.

The last time Jiankui was seen was Wednesday during an appearance at a conference in Hong Kong. The Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen where Jiankui is employed denied that he was detained by authorities. The South China Morning Post reported a spokeswoman for the Southern University of Science and Technology said, "Right now nobody’s information is accurate, only the official channels are."

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She did not offer any further insight into Jiankui's whereabouts adding, "We cannot answer any questions regarding the matter right now, but if we have any information, we will update it through our official channels." On Thursday, the Chinese government ordered a halt to all of Jiankui and his team's research.

Xu Nanping, China's Vice Minister of Science and Technology, told state media outlet CCTV Thursday that he and his ministry is strongly opposed to the gene-editing that was allegedly used on the twin girls. Nanping added that the team's actions were illegal and unacceptable. An investigation has been ordered into Jiankui's work at the University and a number of mainstream scientists also condemned their study.

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1 Comment/s
em ie No. 92148 2018-12-04 : 07:56

oh was he Not to go public speaking... pride before a fall~ hope he is found alive but ethics /those have been underground since people saved the bunnies and mice etc from experiments. and guess what THE MEDIA ,,~ for a long time over lots of issues same with the laws , the courts, in yt they just posted / never easy topic but odd timing / = the twists and turns of words /if read through or speed through to get the jest of it takes time to hear really hear ..sand ia nat labs pt1+2 // there are more than N's/as iridium satellites dropping out of /\ cover the news while other events have gone. a week or more earlier ... ps some of the video games CONGRAT ulation =money laundering childtraffic ing but that is hard to take a game away from gamers so it is not in news with christmas eve commming.. do lives ever matter

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