Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 11:21AM
Drew Wolfe

Facing Backlash, Chinese Scientist Defends Gene-Editing Research On Babies

"The scientist who stunned the world by claiming he created the first genetically modified babies defended his actions publicly for the first time on Wednesday, saying that editing the genes of the twin girls while they were embryos would protect them from HIV."

"He Jiankui of the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, addressed hundreds of scientists gathered at an international gene- editing summit in Hong Kong that has been rocked by ethical questions swirling around his research."

"Earlier, He stunned the scientists just as they were gathering for the historic meeting with his claim, which he outlined in a series of YouTube videos, bypassing scientific norms of first subjecting his experiment to scientific scrutiny by other scientists."

"'First, I must apologize that this result was leaked unexpectedly," He told some 700 attendees. 'This study has been submitted to a scientific journal for review.'"

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