China Stops Gene-Editing Research After Scientific Community Outcry
By Mei Manuel, November 29, 2018 23:11 PM
On Thursday, the Chinese government ordered the pause to all research activities currently looking into human gene editing after a Chinese scientist claimed he successfully edited the genes of two babies earlier this month.
Earlier this week, Chinese scientist He Jiankui said that he used a gene-editing technology called as CRISPR-Cas9 to alter the embryonic genes of the twin girls born this month to prevent HIV infections.
He's announcement, which has not been verified due to the lack of written materials and He's silence in the matter, sparked an international outcry about the ethnical and safety standards of such report.
"The nature of this incident is extremely nasty, and relevant bodies have been ordered to temporarily halt the scientific research activities of relevant personnel," the state news agency Xinhua said, citing the health ministry, science and technology ministry and China Association for Science and Technology.
Several groups have already expressed their criticism and opinion about the issue, including the conference where He claimed to have edited the genes of twins.
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