Shortly after news broke on Monday, 122 scientists issued an open letter warning that the gene editing tool used in the experiment, the CRISPR-Cas 9 technology, was risky. Nor did he say when the results might be published.
The researcher says he used a technology known as "CRISPR" to edit sections of the human genome, performing the procedure on embryonic humans. "For example, he might have made a mutation in a place he didn't intend to make a mutation".
The study's twins, referred to as "Lulu and Nana", are said to be in excellent health, and the full details of the corresponding study promised to be provided for public review in the near future. Dr.
The researcher's 40-minute Q&A offered a charged forum for scientists to publicly question a colleague caught in controversy. "I think there has been a failure of self-regulation by the scientific community because of the lack of transparency", he said. Some research suggests that while knocking out the CCR5 would help the twins resist HIV infection, they might become more susceptible to infection by West Nile virus.
"Right after sending her husband's sperm into her egg, an embryologist also sent in CRISPR/Cas9 protein and instructions to perform a gene surgery meant to protect the girls from future HIV infection", he said. "What was the unmet medical need for these patients in particular?" "We also do not need gene editing to ensure it isn't passed on to offspring", she said. Just because the first case may have been a misstep "should in no way, I think, lead us to stick our heads in the sand and not consider the very, very positive aspects that could come forth by a more responsible pathway", Daley said.
Matthew Porteus, professor of paediatrics at Stanford University, said: "He's already at risk of becoming a pariah".
AP via The Canadian Press He Jiankui speaks during an interview at a laboratory in Shenzhen. The scientists also voiced concern the experiment could harm the reputation and development of China's biomedical community.
More than 100 scientists, most in China, said in an open letter on Tuesday the use of CRISPR-Cas9 technology to edit the genes of human embryos was unsafe and unjustified.
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The scientist said, however, he wanted to prevent HIV being inherited from a parent because so many children were affected by the virus in China. The goal of the experiment was to eliminate a gene (CCR5) in hopes of making the children resistant to diseases such as HIV, smallpox, and cholera.
He told the audience he had worked on 31 eggs and implanted two altered embryos in one woman. Unconventionally, he made the announcement at an global gene editing conference and in interviews with the Associated Press.
The gene-editing work had started three years ago, partly paid for by He, who had consulted, he said, with just a few colleagues about his plans.
In the USA this kind of interference with human embryos is banned, because the implications of altered traits that are then passed on to future generations have not yet been studied.
"At this point in time, this is considered unethical", said Goodman.
He told the AP that he had practiced on mice, monkeys, and human embryos for years before experimenting on humans. The team don't seem to have had adequate training on proper consent processes.
On Tuesday it was announced that He's work was being investigated by Chinese officials and his university in Shenzhen. At the conference, He failed or refused to answer many questions including who paid for his work, how he ensured that participants understood potential risks and benefits, and why he kept his work secret until after it was done.
Antonio Regalado, senior editor for biomedicine for MIT Technology Review - the publication which first highlighted the trial on Sunday - said He's talk was "ethically a half-baked mess".