China sentence scientist who gene-edited babies to jails

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Chinese Government has on Monday sentence a scientist who is behind first gene-edited babies to prison. Jiankui will spend three year of his life in prison base on illegal medical practice.

disclosing the development, AFP report this morning that;

"A Chinese court on Monday sentenced the doctor who claimed to be behind the world’s first gene-edited babies to three years in prison for illegal medical practice, state media reported.

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"He Jiankui, who shocked the scientific community last year by announcing the birth of twins whose genes had allegedly been altered to confer immunity to HIV, was also fined 3 million yuan ($430,000), Xinhua news agency said.

He was sentenced by a court in Shenzhen for “illegally carrying out the human embryo gene-editing intended for reproduction”, Xinhua said.

The news agency said a third gene-edited baby was born as a result of He’s experiments, which had not previously been confirmed.

The scientist announced in November last year that the world’s first gene-edited babies — twin girls — had been born that same month after he altered their DNA to prevent them from contracting HIV by deleting a certain gene under a technique known as CRISPR.

The claim shocked scientists worldwide, raising questions about bioethics and putting a spotlight on China’s lax oversight of scientific research.

Amid the outcry, He was placed under police investigation, the government ordered a halt to his research work and he was fired by his Chinese university.

Gene-editing for reproductive purposes is illegal in most countries. China’s health ministry issued regulations in 2003 prohibiting gene-editing of human embryos, though the procedure is allowed for “non-reproductive purposes”.

(AFP)

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