China’s Gene-editing ‘Frankenstein’ has been put behind bars

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Highlights

  • He Jiankui and two others were convicted on charges related to manipulation of embryos to stop HIV infection
  • Three babies were born as a result of the illegal experiments

China’s Gene-editing ‘Frankenstein’

A Scientist from China who curated the world’s first ‘gene-edited’ babies, has been sentenced to three years of imprisonment. He has been fined with 3 million yuan.
Sheen Court proved he and his two companions named, Zhang Renli and Qin Jinzhou guilty on Monday. Because they were convicted for illegally carrying out embryo gene-editing. Which intended for reproduction that led to the birth of three genetically edited babies.

How they did Gene-editing?

The scientist from Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen claimed that they had manipulated the embryos. He added, the technique used to edit genes known as CRISPR. Also, he said the purpose of doing it was to make them immune to HIV infection.

However, the man who has been called ‘China’s gene-editing Frankenstein’ dropped the news that healthy twin girls were born with manipulated genes through a video. And that went viral on social media platforms.

He Jiankui faced an onslaught of questions and criticism from the media and colleagues. In fact, most of people have bashed him. As he was using a clinical procedure in most of the countries including China.
“Amongst three defendants, none of them was qualified as a doctor. However, they carved fame and fortune. Also, went against the country’s protocols on scientific research and medical ethics”. Nanshan District Court in Shenzhen stated this statement.

What is the Court’s decision?

The court also found that had forged documents to get past the ethics review. Plus, the culprits manipulated information so that medical doctors had unknowingly implanted gene-edited embryos into two women.

Zhang the co-assistant of ‘China’s gene-editing Frankenstein’, who used to work for a medical organization in Guangdong province was sentenced to two years of imprisonment.  Furthermore, he fined 1 million yuan. Qin, from another medical organization, had received an 18-month sentence, but with a two-year reprieve and 500,000 yuan fine.

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