Chinese ‘gene doctor’ who manipulated babies back in laboratory

Chinese ‘gene doctor’ who manipulated babies back in laboratory
Chinese ‘gene doctor’ who manipulated babies back in laboratory
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He Jiankui announced in November 2018 that he had used a genetic technology called CRISPR-Cas9 to edit the genes of twin embryos. In this way he made the babies resistant to HIV.

The response to that announcement was shocked. Around the world, his research was seen as dangerous and unethical.

Convicted

The Chinese authorities soon announced that the scientist had acted on his own initiative and was also financing his research himself. In 2019, he was sentenced to 3 years in prison for not adhering to medical guidelines.

Jiankui was released again in 2022. In an interview with the Japanese The Mainichi, the scientist says that after his release he set up several laboratories in China, where he works on research into diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Duchenne, which he wants to cure with gene therapy.

Pride

Jiankui has always maintained that he is proud of his controversial research. “Society will eventually accept it,” he told the Japanese newspaper.

About the children whose genes he changed, he says: “They are healthy and have no problem with their development.”

Jiankui denies that he has any new plans to create genetically engineered babies. About his new gene research, he says: “We use discarded human embryos and adhere to both domestic and international regulations.”

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Chinese gene doctor manipulated babies laboratory

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