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2018-11-26. CRISPR bombshell: Chinese researcher claims to have created gene-edited twins.

posted Dec 1, 2018, 12:53 PM by Alan Gould   [ updated Dec 1, 2018, 12:53 PM ]
By Dennis Normile, Science Magazine. [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/crispr-bombshell-chinese-researcher-claims-have-created-gene-edited-twins] For GSS Losing Biodiversity chapter 4. Excerpt: HONG KONG, CHINA—On the eve of an international summit here on genome editing, a Chinese researcher has shocked many by claiming to have altered the genomes of twin baby girls born this month in a way that will pass the modification on to future generations. The alteration is intended to make the children’s cells resistant to infection by HIV, says the scientist, He Jiankui of the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. The claim—yet to be reported in a scientific paper—initiated a firestorm of criticism today, with some scientists and bioethicists calling the work “premature,” “ethically problematic,” and even “monstrous.” The Chinese Society for Cell Biology issued a statement calling the research “a serious violation of the Chinese government’s laws and regulations and the consensus of the Chinese scientific community.” And He’s university issued a statement saying it has launched an investigation into the research, which it says may “seriously violate academic ethics and academic norms.” Other scientists, meanwhile, asked to see details of the experiment and its justification before passing judgment....  See related Science Magazine articles: Researcher who created CRISPR twins defends his work but leaves many questions unanswered [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/researcher-who-created-crispr-twins-defends-his-work-leaves-many-questions-unanswered]; Ethics aside, does the CRISPR baby experiment make scientific sense? [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/ethics-aside-does-crispr-baby-experiment-make-scientific-sense]; ‘I feel an obligation to be balanced.’ Noted biologist comes to defense of gene editing babies [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/i-feel-obligation-be-balanced-noted-biologist-comes-defense-gene-editing-babies]; Organizers of gene-editing meeting blast Chinese study but call for ‘pathway’ to human trials [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/organizers-gene-editing-meeting-blast-chinese-study-call-pathway-human-trials]; An ‘epic scientific misadventure’: NIH head Francis Collins ponders fallout from CRISPR baby study [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/epic-scientific-misadventure-nih-head-francis-collins-ponders-fallout-crispr-baby-study]