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Latest: China will stop the work of the team on genetically modified children



HONG KONG – Latest information about the Chinese scientist's claim to become the world's first genetically engineered child (everywhere):

7:30 am

The Chinese government has ordered a stop to work by a medical team who claimed to have helped produce the world's first-ever baby.

Deputy Prime Minister for Science and Technology, Xu Nanping, told CCTV on Thursday that his ministry is strongly opposed to the efforts allegedly produced by twins born at the start of this month. Xu called the team's actions illegal and unacceptable and said the investigation had been ordered.

Researcher He Jiankui claims to have changed the DNA of the twins to try to resist AIDS infection. Major scientists have condemned this experiment, and universities and government groups are investigating.

There is no independent confirmation of what he says he did. He said there might be another pregnancy.

1:30 hrs.

A leading group of scientists said it was too early to attempt permanent DNA changes that can be inherited by future generations, according to a Chinese researcher.

Scientists have gathered this week in Hong Kong at an international conference on gene editing, the ability to rewrite the code of life to try to correct or prevent disease.

Although science promises to help newborn babies, scientists announced on Thursday that it is irresponsible to try it on eggs, sperm or embryos because their risks or safety are not yet known.

The conference was sacked by a Chinese researcher's assertion that it helped produce the world's first-ever baby, twins who said they were born earlier this month.


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