China ordered to stop work on editing the human genome. The author of the work has disappeared

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Earlier this week, the whole world was literally shocked by the message that one of the hospitals in China was born the world’s first children with the edited using CRISPR genome. This really important event for the world community did not have a sufficient evidence base and the author of the work had to provide it a few days after the statement at the summit on the human genome. However, some time after the speech, the Chinese government ordered to stop the work of the scientist and to understand the issue in more detail. He’s a scientist left the summit, and yet no longer appeared in public. What happened?

First, let’s remember a little where it all began. As we have already written, a group of researchers led by Dr. he Jiankui reported that with the HELP of the crispr-Cas9 genome editor they managed to edit the CCR5 gene. The absence of this gene, according to experts, allows people to have a high resistance to smallpox, cholera and HIV infection. Mr. Jiankui said that in the course of his work he managed to edit the genome of the zygote obtained by in vitro fertilization, resulting in the birth of two twin girls, named Nana and Lulu.

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According to the Associated Press, which refers to the state media in China, after the words of the scientist, representatives of the University in which he worked, as well as the hospital, allegedly approved the experiments, said that they are “shocked and surprised” by the news and conduct their own investigations of the incident. Also, the national health Commission of China has taken up the investigation. As stated in the press service of the Department with reference to the Deputy Minister of science and technology Nanping Xu,

“The relevant state bodies have already been ordered to temporarily suspend research work on editing the human genome. Our Ministry is categorically against this project, the actions of Jiankui he and his colleagues are unacceptable.»

At the same time, even before the investigation began, Mr. he said that another participant in his experiment was also pregnant. He himself after the international summit and the report with the provision of the entire scientific base left Hong Kong and does not communicate directly with anyone. He only said, through his representative, that he would soon provide “all the initial data of the experiment necessary for an independent analysis”.

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Updated: November 30, 2018 — 2:18 pm

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