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CRISPR uproar: Chinese researchers claims first gene-edited babies

A Chinese researcher claims that he helped make the world's first genetically edited babies – twin girls born this month whose DNA he has changed with a powerful new tool capable of rewriting the very blueprint of life

If true, it will be a deep leap of science and ethics.

A U.S. scientist said he took part in the work in China, but this kind of gene editing is banned in the United States because the DNA changes can pass to future generations and it is harming other genes.

He 11 26 18
He Jiankui Image credit: Associated Press

Many mainstream scientists think it's too unsafe to try, and some denounced the Chinese report as human experimentation.

The researcher, He Jiankui of Shenzhen, said he altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments, with a pregnancy result thus far. He said his goal was not to cure or prevent an inherited disease, but to try to bestow a trait that has few people naturally have – an ability to resist possible future infection with HIV, the AIDS virus.

There is no independent confirmation of He's claim, and it has not been published in a journal, where it will be vetted by other experts. He revealed it Monday [November 26] In Hong Kong to one of the organizers of an international conference on gene editing that is set to begin Tuesday, and earlier in exclusive interviews with The Associated Press.

Read full, original post: First gene-edited babies in China

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