A Chinese scientist who claims to have created the world's first genetically modified children said on Wednesday that his actions were safe and ethical and he was proud of what had been done. Many other scientists are, however, very skeptical, and the forum's organizers call his activities irresponsible.
"Especially for this case I feel proud""said Professor He Jiangui to his colleagues at an international gene modification conference in Hong Kong, where he presented his experiment to change the DNA of two twins so they could not get infected with AIDS.
In his words, it is now possible to maintain another pregnancy with a genetically modified embryo.
The only thing he apologized to was an unexpected report that he used CRISPR genetically engineered technology to change embryos and then implant them into the womb of a woman who gave birth to two twins this month.
The statement of his scientific success has not yet had any independent confirmation, the BBC notes, but reports have ravaged the scientific community. Many scholars have condemned Jianguy, some even define his idea as monstrous. Scientists work diligently to prevent such fraud using advanced technologies to change human DNA.
In many countries around the world, this research is forbidden.
Scientists from Hong Kong, including top class geneticists, consider Jiangsu's behavior unethical. They stress that there are serious questions that have not yet been answered about the safety of embryo "editing", so it is necessary to conduct this survey in a transparent and controlled way to ensure that the technology is not abused.
Presentation by Professor He could not calm his colleagues on Wednesday.
Immediately after his presentation, he said that the Nobel Prize winner David Baltimore, the head of the Conference Organizing Committee, He was irresponsible, the New York Times reported.
"I think it was not a transparent process, and we did not understand it until it happened after the birth of children, and I personally do not think it was a medical necessity," said Dr. Baltimore.
Robin Lovell-Bege, a professor of genetics and embryology at the Francs Crickeys Institute in London, asked Ha Jianguy why he needed such great secrets, especially because he was aware of the scientific community's awareness that he was still not doing so.
The accusation now lies in violating the law. If you asked the Chinese authorities, they might tell you that you can not do it, Lovell-Bege remarked.
It is the University of Southern Science and Technology University of Shenzhen that he did not inform his research project and started an investigation.
He confirmed that his university did not know and added that he had funded the experiment with his own resources.
He said that the newborn twins, called "Lulu" and "Nana," were "born normal and healthy" and intend to monitor their development in the next 18 years.
He Jiangsu explained that eight couples consisting of HIV-positive fathers and HIV-negative mothers gave written consent to voluntary participation in the experiment. The professor then picked one of these pairs.
He also said he had devoted a scientific work to a scientific journal that reviewed and evaluated it, but did not say what the publication was.
CRISPR's genetically engineered technology, which it claims to have used, is not new to the scientific world. It was first discovered in 2012. It works by using "molecular scissors" to change the very specific DNA thread – either cut, or replace or repair.
Genetic modification can potentially help avoid inherited diseases by removing or changing the code of the embryo problem.
Experts, however, warn that interference in the embryo genome can cause harm not only to individuals but also to future generations who will make the same repairs.
Hundreds of Chinese scientists have published a signed letter in their social media, in which they "categorically" reject prof.
Professor Julian Sevourlescu, an ethics expert at Oxford University, commented earlier to the BBC: "If this is true, this experiment is enormous, and the genetic modification itself is experimental, and it is still linked to mutation deviations that are capable of causing genetic problems at the beginning of life or later , including the development of cancer. "
"This experiment brings healthy children's risk of gene education without real benefits," he says.
Many countries, including the United Kingdom, have laws prohibiting genetic modification of embryos in assisted reproduction of humans.
Scientists can fertilize this embryo research in vitro and should destroy them immediately and not use them to produce children.
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