China Orders Halt to Research in Gene Editing

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The experiment, which was led by He, claims to have successfully altered the DNA of twin girls born a few weeks ago to prevent them from contracting HIV.

The committee called for an independent assessment of He's claims. He was scheduled to speak again today but left.

He gave a partial apology in front of a packed auditorium at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong, although the contrition seemed to be more for the information about the births coming out before his research had been vetted by the scientific community, rather than for having carried it out. "I think it's a puzzling choice and a poor choice", Musunuru says of targeting the CCR5 gene.

He and his team allegedly disabled a gene which makes a protein that makes it possible for HIV to infect people's cells, potentially making these babies resistant to HIV. Most notoriously, maverick doctors have claimed since the early 2000s to have created human babies by cloning, but never with any more credibility than we should attach to the announcement of that feat in 2002 by C...

Who are the investors supporting He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist behind the gene-edited babies?

The founder of the Baihualin (BHL) China League, who calls himself "Bai Hua", reportedly introduced 50 families to Dr He's team.

"Even if the modifications are verified, the procedure was irresponsible and failed to conform with worldwide norms", the organising committee of the Second global Summit on Human Genome Editing, being held in Hong Kong this week, said in a statement.

He acknowledged he had not made his university in China aware of the research he was doing. "It's highly unacceptable and highly upsetting".

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Shortly after his talk, He canceled a planned appearance in a Thursday session on embryo gene editing, according to the Royal Society, one of the conference organizers.

During the event He also announced an additional claim: "There is another one... another potential pregnancy". He was accused of experimenting on humans with an unproven and potentially risky technology, as the changes made on the babies could be passed on to future generations.

But scientists and the Chinese government have denounced the work and a hospital linked to his research suggested its ethical approval had been forged.

The university said that it had "no knowledge of this work" and that to its knowledge, the work was not performed in the U.S.

"The organizing committee concludes that the scientific understanding and technical requirements for clinical practice remain too uncertain and the risks too great to permit clinical trials of germ line editing at this time", the closing statement said. This indicates that the research of gene editing in China not only has a promising potential, but is also responding to the public's needs, stated Liang Chen, a professor at Sun Yat-Sen University. "I feel proudest", he told his peers at the conference, because the twin subjects' father "thought he had lost hope for life." .

"I personally don't think that it was medically necessary".

After word first leaked of He's project through news reports, scientists criticized the effort as irresponsible and premature.