China scientist claims he created CRISPR babies

Nov. 26, 2018

A Chinese researcher is claiming that he helped produce the world’s first genetically edited babies — twin girls born this month with altered DNA.

He Jiankui of Shenzhen said he altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments, with a goal of creating a trait with the ability to resist possible future infection with HIV. The clinical trial documents describe a study in which CRISPR is employed to modify human embryos, eliminating a gene called CCR5, before they are transferred into women’s uteruses.

He Jiankui opened a lab at Southern University of Science and Technology of China in Shenzhen, where he also has two genetics companies. The university said his work “seriously violated academic ethics and standards” and planned to investigate.

The researcher released a youtube video explaining the process.

According to AP news, there is no independent confirmation of He Jiankui's claim, and it has not been published in a journal.