HONG KONG (AP) – A leader for an international conference on redecoration said Wednesday that the work of a Chinese…
HONG KONG (AP) – A leader for an international conference on redecoration said Wednesday that the work of a Chinese scientist claiming that he helped make the world’s first redirected children showed a failure of self-regulation among researchers.
Nobel laureate David Baltimore said that the work of the scientist who made the assertion would be considered irresponsible because it did not meet criteria that many researchers agreed on several years ago before re-editing could be considered.
Baltimore spoke at an international conference in Hong Kong, where the Chinese researcher, He Jiankui (HEH JEE-AHN-QWAY) in Shenzhen, made his first public comments since his work was revealed.
He said the twin girls were born in the month. He said they were supposed to try to help them withstand any future infection with the AIDS virus.
Baltimore said he did not think it was medically necessary. He said the target showed that “there has been a failure of self-regulation of the scientific community” and said the conference committee would meet and issue a statement on Thursday about the future of the future.
Another distinguished American scientist speaking at a conference, Harvard Medical School Dean Dr George Daley, warned against a backslash to his statement. Daley said it would be unfortunate if a misconception with a first case led researchers and regulators to reject the good that could come from changing DNA to treat or prevent diseases.
He has said that his lab used the powerful CRISPR rediger tool to change human embryonic DNA.
There is not yet any independent confirmation of his statement, but researchers and regulators have been quick to condemn the experiment as unethical and ignorant.
The National Health Commission has ordered local officials in Guangdong Province to investigate his actions, and his employer, Southern University of Science and Technology, also investigates.
The Chinese scientist said that he practiced editing mice, monkeys and human embryos in the lab for several years and has applied for patent on his methods.
He said he chose embryo redevelopment for HIV because these infections are a major problem in China. He tried to disable a gene called CCR5 which forms a protein port that allows HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, to enter a cell.