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China Opens a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of Human Genetic Engineering

A Chinese researcher’s claim that he successfully modified the genes of human embryos may force the country to make a stark choice about the future of its burgeoning biotechnology industry — one with significant implications for an emerging technology arms race with the West.

He Jiankui, an American-educated scientist based in Shenzhen, announced on Monday that he’d used Crispr, a powerful gene-editing tool, to make recently born twin girls resistant to HIV. He’s statement, which was not backed by peer-reviewed data and hasn’t been verified, prompted widespread condemnation from scientists in China and elsewhere, with many calling it an irresponsible use of a technology whose long-term effects are still poorly understood.




UC Berkeley



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