Genetic Scientist Released, Resumes Modified Child Research

Chinese scientist He Jiankui, known for his resonance research in genetic engineering, has returned to work after serving time in prison for creating the world’s first genetically modified children. In a recent interview, He stated that his new experiments adhere to ethical standards and assured that he will no longer be involved in creating modified individuals.

In 2018, He Jiankui caused a global stir by announcing the gene modification of human embryos using CRISPR/CAS9 technology with the goal of providing immunity to HIV. A female volunteer has since given birth to twin girls named Lula and Nanu, with another child born shortly after.

The scientist’s actions sparked allegations of ethical breaches and violations of Chinese laws, resulting in He Jiankui being sentenced to three years in prison in 2019. However, he was released in 2022.

Following his release, He has resumed his research on editing the human embryo genome in three laboratories. He aims to use his work to eventually treat rare genetic disorders like Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy and Alzheimer’s hereditary disease. He asserts that his current activities strictly adhere to both local and international regulations and only involve selected human embryos.

Though acknowledging that his previous experiments were rushed, He remains steadfast in the safety and efficacy of his work. He claims that children born from his experiments do not display any illnesses or unexpected genetic alterations and are thriving.

He Jiankui has expressed optimism that society will eventually embrace this form of genetic engineering, despite his pledge against creating modified individuals.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.