Chinese scientist outrages researchers by claiming he gene-edited twins

时间:2018-11-29 单词数:3040

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The scientific world erupted with outrage and concern Monday after a Chinese scientist claimed he used gene-editing to alter the DNA of a pair of twins who were born recently.


The scientist, He Jiankui of Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, said he used a DNA-editing tool called CRISPR to alter the genes of the twin girls to make them resistant to infection by the AIDS virus HIV. He plans to present more details later this week at a scientific meeting in Hong Kong.


Fertility researchers around the world were quick to denounce both the way He announced his work — with a YouTube video and in an interview with the Associated Press — and the work itself.


Scientists usually present their work in journals, which vet their data and methods and usually also invite other experts in the field to check for errors before it’s published.


The idea of permanently altering a baby’s DNA so that their own children also carry the change is controversial, if not abhorrent, to much of the world. But some experts also say the furor surrounding the case shows it may be time to legalize such work and create a regulatory framework to ensure it is done safely and ethically.


China’s Southern University said it did not support the experiment. "The research work was carried out outside the school by Associate Professor He Jiankui. He did not report to the school and the department of biology, and the school and the biology department did not know about it," it said in a statement.


The university said it was investigating. Likewise, Rice University in Houston distanced itself from Michael Deem, a bioengineering professor there who said he collaborated with He on the project. “This research raises troubling scientific, legal and ethical questions,” the university said in a statement.

校方表示正在调查此事。休斯敦的莱斯大学生物工程学教授Michael Deem也参与了此项研究,在此事件发生后,其所在校方迅速撇清关系,并对外声明称“这项研究提出了一些令人不安的科学、法律和伦理问题。”