A famous Chinese scientist has altered a twin’s genes for the first time in the world. The scientist was condemned during a conference for risking people’s lives.
The scientist, He Jian Kui presented his findings during a conference in November 2018.
At the same event, Robin Lovell-Badge, the organiser of the conference, condemned the scientist and called him a ‘rich man with a huge ego who wanted to do something he thinks will change the world”.
He Jiankui is an associate professor at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China.
The scientist caused international uproar when he announced that he had utilised a technology named CRISPR-Cas9 to edit the genes of twin girls who were born in November 2018.
Chinese authorities started an investigation into the scientist’s experiment and stopped gene editing, and announced that the scientist could be facing charges of corruption and bribery which would mean that he will receive the death penalty.
The scientist argued during the conference that his interference would be able to protect babies from HIV infections.
“It is certainly possible that he has put the children’s lives at risk,” Lowel Badge commented to journalists.”No-one knows what these mutations will do. Pretty much everyone he talked to had said to him: ‘Don’t do it’,” he said. “But clearly it was all too late.”