BEIJING (AFP) .- China ordered an investigation to verify claims from a Chinese scientist who claimed to have created the first
babies who are genetically modified from history, an act described as "madness" by many researchers.
He Jiankui, a professor at Shenzhen University, in Guangdong Province (south), announced in 2008
video released on YouTube at the birth of "a few weeks ago" from two twin girls whose DNA was modified to make them more resistant to the AIDS virus.
"We have asked the Guangdong Province health authorities to immediately open a thorough investigation to establish facts," the National Health Commission reacted late Monday, saying "very important" to the matter.
Announcement He Jiankui provoked a wave of criticism from the world scientific community, including at his own research center, South University of Science and Technology, which gave him authority and declared himself "very surprised".
Geneticists, trained at Stanford University in the United States and who run specialized laboratories in the genome in Shenzhen, explained that he used the CRISPR / Cas9 technique, the "genome scissors". This allows removing and replacing unwanted parts of the genome, as if correcting typos on the computer.
The Lulu twins and Nana were born after in vitro fertilization of the modified embryos before their implantation in the mother's womb.
This self-proclaimed medical spoon has not been corroborated because the results of the Chinese team are not published in scientific journals.
More than 100 Chinese scientists, especially biologists and doctors, complained in the statement "insanity", which was a "big blow to the global reputation and development of biomedical research in China."