(ANSA) – Chinese doctors who announced the birth of two twin girls with altered genes said he did not regret what he did and that he was proud of it, despite criticisms put forward. He Jiankui made these statements during the International Summit on Human Genome Edition which took place in Hong Kong and from which, however, news emerged that the experiment was now suspended precisely because of the controversy that had arisen.
The scientist spoke to a crowd of more than 700 international researchers, which made it a "bombing" of questions. Who consulted if there was another pregnancy in the process that was part of the study, He replied that there was another "potential", even at the initial stage, but in a series of consecutive responses it was unclear whether there was a miscarriage or an ongoing pregnancy
I have admitted that there were eight couples involved in the experiment, which aimed to "silence" genes that produce proteins that allow the HIV virus to enter the cells. Scientists say he is "proud" of the results, ignoring the main objection made by experts about tests, namely that the Crispr technique used for genome editions often also produces undesirable modifications in other areas of DNA.
"The volunteers – reaffirmed after stopping the test for the current situation – being told about the risk of modification might be unwanted by DNA, even though they decided to have the embryo implanted too". During his speech, He Jiankui explained various phases of testing, starting with tests on animals several years ago. All data will be sent to scientific journals for publication, although which one is not specified.
The experiment, recognized by researchers, was carried out outside the University of Science and Technology South, where he worked until February, with personal resources from Himself. The announcement released on Sunday with a video on YouTube, and taken by the Mit Technology Review magazine, sparked protests around the world, from China itself, where more than 120 scientists signed letters that experiments were defined as "crazy" and the National Health Commission open an official investigation. Also in Italy there is no shortage of critical voices, starting with the Minister of Health, Giulia Grillo.
"Now science has reached a very high level in the field of genetics," he said in an interview with SkyTg24: "We must establish this problem as an international community and understand exactly what humanity is going to be, because it is clear that scientific research without brakes can do anything, even make humans in test tubes. "