Washington D.C., Nov 27, 2018 / 17:21 pm
A Chinese scientist's claim to have created a gene-edited baby has been met with an outpouring of condemnation, with critics voicing alarm at what they described as a disregard for biomedical ethics.
Approximately 120 scientists released a letter condemning the research, Reuters reported. The Chinese-language letter called the gene manipulation a "Pandora's box," warning, "The biomedical ethics review for this so-called research exists in name only. Conducting direct human experiments can only be described as crazy."
Earlier this week, Chinese researcher He Jiankui claimed that he had altered embryos for seven couples, resulting in one twin pregnancy so far. There is no independent confirmation of this claim, the Associated Press noted.
He says his goal was to edit embryos to give them the ability to resist HIV infection, by disabling the CCR5 gene, which allows HIV to enter a cell.