Han Jiankui, a Chinese scientist, talks Wednesday during the Human Genome Editing Conference in Hong Kong. He has allegedly been…
Photo: Kin Cheung / Associated Press
A Chinese scientist has gone missing a week after he announced that he successfully edited children’s DNA, Chinese media reports.
Researcher Han Jiankui said last week that he had changed embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments. He said that two of the edited embryos were born healthy twin baby girls. Their DNA had changed to try to make them resistant to infection with the HIV virus. There is no independent confirmation of what he says he did.
During the weekend, reports in Chinese media revealed that he was held under house arrest. He was seen last Wednesday at the appearance of a conference in Hong Kong.
He is an employer, the South University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, denied reports that the scientist was imprisoned.
“Right now, no information is correct, only the official channels are,” said a spokesman for the South China Morning Post. She refused to comment further.
The Chinese government left faith in the work of Han and his team on Thursday.
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Xu Nanping told the CCTV Secretary of State Thursday that his service strongly opposes the efforts that allegedly produced twin girls born earlier this month. Xu called the team’s actions illegally and unacceptably and said that an investigation had been ordered. Chief researchers have also condemned the experiment.
Associated Press contributed to this report.
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