Home / Health / Rice Professor’s role in “The World’s First Ready-made Babies” under investigation
“This research gives rise to worrying scientific, legal and ethical issues,” said Doug Miller, head of the RU University Media Relations team. In a statement, Miller said that Rice had “no knowledge of this work”.
He claims that he used a tool called CRISPR-Cas9, which can insert or disable some genes, to change the DNA of multiple embryos to make them resistant to HIV.
Two children, twin girls called Lulu and Nana, probably born a few weeks ago, announced in a video on YouTube that they were “as healthy as other children” and were at home with their parents, Grace and Mark.
He is scheduled to present his work Wednesday at the Second International Summit at the Human Genome Editing Conference in Hong Kong.
] Worldwide reaction to His announcement was quick. Hundreds of Chinese biomedical and AIDS researchers issue statements that condemn research. Several researchers said the experiment was “monstrous”, “premature, dangerous and irresponsible”. The Chinese government announced an “immediate investigation” to verify his claims, questioning the ethical approval process and wondering if the families were adequately informed about the nature of the experiment.
Deem did not respond to CNN talks and emails but told The Associated Press that he was in China with The families when they gave consent and “absolutely” thought they understood the risks.
Deem also said that he holds “a small stake” and is on the scientific advisory council for two of his companies.
Rice University said it did not believe that any of the clinical work was performed in the United States, but “Whatever was done, this work works as described in press reports, violates scientific guidelines and violates ethical norms in the science community and Rice University. “
At the same time Deem has been working to a large extent on the effectiveness of influenza vaccine, immune system modulation and HIV. Deem also says that a research interest is the “mathematical development model responsible for genetic exchange of cross species”.
A recently published magazine on mathematical modeling for influenza written by biomedical ethics researcher Kirstin Matthews at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Matthews wrote in an email that she “was surprised yesterday, like many others, to find out that Professor Deem was involved in this research.” When she stated that she had recently started working with Deem, she said that she had not seen anything suggesting that Professor Deem’s scientific work was questioned, and she did not believe that any data in the co-authored newspaper was affected.
“Had Professor Deem informed me about his work on using human embryo CRISPR to develop a baby, I would have recommended extreme care using this technique on human embryos and to wait for more data on risks before using manipulated embryos for pregnancies, “writes Matthews.  According to a press release on the Rice University website, he became a PhD student at Deem 2007 and wrote with several documents “of tremendous importance” to Deem.
He, as the university says, was “the son of rice farmers in the Hunan Province in China”, was a leading author of Deem on a paper that presented a mathematical model that could determine within two weeks if a new strain of the influenza virus would be included in the annual seasonal influenza vaccine. The World Health Organization model takes up to six months.
“Jiankui is a very strong student,” said Deem 2010. “He has done a fantastic job here at Rice, and I’m sure he will be very successful in his career.”