Daily Management Review

Creator Of The First 'Gene-Edited' Babies Of The World Gets 3 Year Jail Term In China


Creator Of The First 'Gene-Edited' Babies Of The World Gets 3 Year Jail Term In China
Charges of illegally practicing medicine were brought against the scientists who had created the first "gene-edited" babies in the world in China following which a court in the country found the scientist guilty of the charges and sentenced him to three years in prison on Monday. This news was published in the official Chinese news agency Xinhua.
The gene-editing technology which is known as CRISPR-Cas9 was used by the scientist He Jiankui for altering the gene makeup of two twin girls which would have enabled the two girls from remain protected from being infected with the AIDS virus in the future. Jiankui achieved this feat while he was an associate professor at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen. The announcement of the achievement was made by him in November of 2018.
However there was severe criticism of the act in China as well as all over the world wherein most critics questioned the ethicality of the research and the altering of gene in humans. 
It was reported and charged that ethical review materials were forced by Jiankui and his collaborators. The team also reportedly recruited men who were affected by the AIDS virus and who were part of a couple who were selected to undergo the experiment of editing of genes. According to the report published in Xinhua, the ultimate result of the experiment of Jiankui and his collaborators were two women giving birth to three gene-edited babies.
Zhang Renli and Qin Jinzhou, who worked at two unnamed medical institutions, were handed over lighter sentences by the court over charges of having conspired with Jiankui in this experiment. 
"The three accused did not have the proper certification to practice medicine, and in seeking fame and wealth, deliberately violated national regulations in scientific research and medical treatment," the court said, according to the report in Xinhua.
"They've crossed the bottom line of ethics in scientific research and medical ethics."

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