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A baby-born scientist generates 2 pregnancies



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Marilynn Marchione, The Associated Press

Published Wednesday, November 28, 2018 6:37 EST

HONG KONG – A Chinese researcher who claims he has helped make the firstborn genetically modified babies say that a second pregnancy could be under way.

Researcher, He Jiankui of Shenzhen, revealed the possible pregnancy on Wednesday in making his first public comments about his controversial work at an international conference in Hong Kong.

He alleged him to change the DNA of two women born earlier this month to try to resist them with an AIDS virus infection. Mainstream scientists have condemned the experiment, and universities and government groups are investigating.

The second possible pregnancy is in a very early stage and it needs more time to monitor to see what will last, he says.

Lead scientists said there are now more reasons for distress, and more questions than answers, after he spoke. The conference leader called the "irresponsible" experiment and evidence that the scientific community had failed to regulate itself to prevent premature efforts to change DNA.

Changing DNA before or at the time of conception is very controversial as the changes can be inherited and could harm other genes. It is banned in some countries including the United States except for laboratory research.

He chose his choice of HIV, rather than fatal hereditary disease, as a test case for gene editing, and insisted that the women could benefit from it.

"This defense is needed because no vaccine is available," he said.

Scientists did not buy it.

"This is a truly unacceptable development," said Jennifer Doudna, scientist at the University of California-Berkeley and one of the inventors of CRISPR's birth tool and said he was using it. "I'm grateful that it seems today, but I do not think we've heard the answers. We still need to understand the impetus for this."

Doudna is paid by the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation, which also supports the Department of Health and Science AP.

"I'm feeling more disturbed now," said David Liu from Harvard and MIT Broad Institute, and a variant inventor of the gene tool. "There's a terrible example of what should not be done about promising technology that has a great potential to benefit from society. I hope it will never happen again."

There is no independent confirmation of a claim and has not yet published in any scientific journal where experts would be investigated. At the conference he failed or refused to answer a number of questions including who was paying for his work, how he ensured that participants understood potential risks and benefits, and why he kept his job secretly until he had be done.

After speaking, David Baltimore, the Nobel Prize of the California Institute of Technology and the conference leader said that "Working" would still be considered irresponsible "because he did not meet the criteria many scientists agreed several years ago before genes could be considered to be considered.

"I personally do not think it's a medical necessity. The choice of diseases that we heard earlier discussions today is much more weighing" than trying to prevent this HIV infection, said Baltimore.

The case shows "a failure of self-regulation by the scientific community" and said that the conference committee would meet and announce a statement on Thursday about the future of the field, said Baltimore.

Before he spoke, the Dr. warned George Daley, dean of Harvard Medical School and one of the conference organizers, against an assault to mean genes because of his experiment. Just because the first case has been gamstep "in no way, I believe, should lead us to keep our heads in the sand and not consider the very positive aspects that could come out on a larger path responsible, "said Daley.

"Scientists who are getting curious … it costs deep, deeper to the scientific community," says Daley.

Regulators have been quick to condemn the experiment so unpleasant and uncertain.

The National Health Commission has ordered local officials in the Guangdong province to investigate the actions of He, and his employer, the University of South China Science and Technology, is also investigating.

On Tuesday, Qui Renzong of the Chinese Social Science Academy criticized the decision to let him speak at the conference, saying that the "should not be on our agenda" should be reviewed until it was reviewed by independent experts. One of the breaches of reproductive medicine laws in China has been blurred; Qui claims it, but said, "the problem is, there is no penalty."

He called on the UN to start a meeting to discuss the scenes of heritable genes to promote an international agreement when it could be right.

Meanwhile, more American scientists said they had contacted them and were aware of what he was doing or suspected.

Dr. Matthew Porteus, a genetics researcher at Stanford University, where he was a post-doctoral research, told us in February that he intended to seek human genius. Porteus said he was unconscious He told him "it was irresponsible, that he could endanger all the genes of genes by doing this in a cavalier fashion."

Dr. William Hurlbut, Stanford's elector, said he had "spent a lot of hours" talking to He over the last two years about situations where genes could be appropriate.

"I knew his early work. I knew where it was going to an end," said Hurlbut. When he saw Four or five weeks ago, he did not say he had tried or carried out pregnancy with edited embryos, but "I suspect," said Hurlbut.

"I disagree with the idea of ​​stepping out of the general consensus of the scientific community," said Hurlbut. If the science is not already considered or safe enough, it will create misunderstanding, inconsistency and lack of trust. "

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