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Chinese scientists return to alarm with a second pregnancy that is genetically made



American Voice Report

Chinese researcher He Jiankui, criticizing after his recent statement that he collaborated on the creation of two genetically edited twins, returned to alarm on Wednesday to the scientific community to announce that there might be a second pregnancy.

He, a 34-year professor from the southern city of Shenzhen, revealed the possibility of a new pregnancy in his first public statement about a controversial project at an international conference in Hong Kong.

Changing DNA before or at conception is a very controversial problem because changes can be inherited or can damage other genes. This practice is banned in several countries, including the United States, except for laboratory research.

Experts say that his work is unethical and unscientific.

I defended his job by stating that he changed the DNA of two twins born earlier this month to try to make them immune to the AIDS virus.

"They need this protection because there are no vaccines available," he said amid criticism.

But the scientific community condemned the experiment, and universities and government groups were investigating the situation.

The second possible pregnancy is in the very early phase and more time is needed to check whether it will continue, he said.

The second possible pregnancy is at a very early stage, said He Jiankui on Wednesday, November 28 at a conference in Hong Kong.
The second possible pregnancy is at a very early stage, said He Jiankui on Wednesday, November 28 at a conference in Hong Kong.
Rain of Chinese criticism and investigation

Leading scientists say they are increasingly worried about this problem.

The conference director, who was present, described the experiment as "irresponsible" and said that the scientific community had failed in its plans to regulate itself and avoid attempts to change DNA.

He, for one, argued that he chose HIV not a deadly congenital disease to test the genetic edition, and insisted that girls could benefit. But his colleagues seemed dissatisfied.

"This is truly unacceptable progress," said Jennifer Doudna, a scientist at the University of California-Berkeley and one of the inventors of the CRISPR gene editing tool she used.


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