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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Stanford investigates links to scientist in baby gene-editing scandal

Guardian staff and agencies
The Guardian
Originally posted February 7, 2019

Stanford University has begun an investigation following claims some of its staff knew long ago of Chinese scientist He Jiankui’s plans to create the world’s first gene-edited babies.

A university official said a review was under way of interactions some faculty members had with He, who was educated at Stanford. Several professors including He’s former research adviser have said they knew or strongly suspected He wanted to try gene editing on embryos intended for pregnancy.

The genetic scientist sparked global outcry after he claimed in a video posted on YouTube in November 2018 that he had used the gene-editing tool Crispr-Cas9 to modify a particular gene in two embryos before they were placed in their mother’s womb. He – who works from a lab in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen – said the twin girls, known as Lulu and Nana, were born through regular IVF but using an egg that was modified before being inserted into the womb. He focused on HIV infection prevention because the girls’ father is HIV positive.

The info is here.

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