Image of scientist in lab

A Reckless and Needless Use of Gene Editing on Human Embryos

Last year, Jennifer Doudna, one of the pioneers of the gene-editing technique known as CRISPRsaid, “I’ve mentally prepared myself for the day when I open my inbox or answer my phone and realize that somebody’s going to be announcing the first CRISPR baby.”

That day was yesterday.

As first reported by Antonio Regalado at MIT Technology Review, the Chinese scientist He Jiankui claims to have made the first crispr-edited babies. “Two beautiful little Chinese girls, Lulu and Nana, came crying into the world as healthy as any other babies a few weeks ago,” He said in the first of five videos, posted yesterday to YouTube. “The girls are home now with their mom, Grace, and dad, Mark.” The claim has yet to be formally verified, but if true, it represents a landmark in the continuing ethical and scientific debate around gene editing.




UC Berkeley



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