Tuesday , May 17 2022

Editor A Chinese scientist keeps a lot of work secretly


Shenzhen, China – The Chinese scientist who says he has helped make the nation's firstborn-born babies slip from a traditional career path, keeping a lot of research secret to try history make a bigger goal.

Aspirations outside Jiankui began to be produced in 2016, a year after another team of Chinese researchers triggered a global debate with exposure that they had changed DNA from human embryos in the lab. He soon thought about pushing the boundaries of medical ethics even further.

After China's scientist, born in China, directed with former Stanford University Adviser his interest in babies-mean babies. He told The Associated Press last month that he had been working on the experiment for more than two years – a period, according to his own account, hiding information from some of the medical staff involved in & # 39; the research, as well as similar heads.

He took advantage of the verbal and irregularly enforced regulations and generous funding available today in China, in some cases, even wearing local protocols and laws.

"The huge ambition in China, the desire to be the first, conflicts with the desire to create and enforce standards," said Jing-Bao Nie, a Chinese physiologist at Otago University in New Zealand.

On a night before the international births conference in Hong Kong this week, the 34-year-old scientist is stunned by the world by claiming he had used the powerful CRISPR gene tool to change DNA from Daughter Two Daughters earlier this month. His application could not be confirmed independently, and has not published in a journal, but he has quickly removed reluctance from researchers and regulators.

Mainstream scientists in China and globally said the experiment should never have been tested.

"They chose a short circuit of the whole process. They became fraudulent," said Dr. Kiran Musunuru, a Pennsylvania University gene specialist.

China's state television broadcaster, CCTV, reported on Tuesday that the Ministry of Science and Technology can investigate, if the births are confirmed.

He did not follow the career path of the expected script. Most did not publish earlier research on modifying DNA mice and monkey, as most scientists would have done. And the way he was developing his latest study included suspicious decisions on confidentiality and medical ethics.

"If you're going to do something controversial and early, and you want to be the leader of this organization, you want to do it in an exemplar way," said Dr Eric Topol, 39; n Head of the Research Institute Scripps Researchal in California.

He was born, who says that his parents were farmers, in 1984 in southern China. At that time, the country was beginning to emerge from Mao's life segregation, and the average annual income was only $ 300. Phones were scarce. Many villages were not yet linked by paved roads.

Initially, he followed a common path for scientists from his / her generation. After graduating from the University of China Science and Technology, he moved to the US for graduate studies.

He won Ph.D. in a biotech of Rice University in 2010, then spent a year as a postdoctoral research co-research in Stanford. Stanford's consultant Stephen Quake described his "super bright" and "at the forefront of trying to apply new technologies to biology."

In 2012, he returned to China to take up a post at the University of South Science and Technology – an organization that opened a year earlier only and partly funded by the Shenzhen government, a southern Chinese city known about its technology companies.

"He was very interested in the idea of ​​generating a human genome," and what situation would be appropriate, Quake said, remembering one of his visits. Quake gave feedback, but did not oversee the study.

Research could not have been held legally in the US or most of Europe.

China has banned human cloning for reproduction. In 2003, his Ministry of Health published a guide to in-vitro clinics preventing "clinical experiments that break moral or moral principles."

The young scientist saw this ambiguity as an opportunity. Sometimes researchers – Chinese or overseas – who can not secure sponsorship or consent for unconventional projects in the U.S. or Europe find financial support and openings in China.

Ren Xiaoping, a surgeon who aims to achieve the first human transplant, has worked for many years in US hospitals but returned to China because a medical institution agreed at his own home to support him; the research.

Guoping Feng, a neuroscience at the University of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, works with a research facility in the Guangdong province where its connection is genetically genetic engineering with brain disorders to study the development of symptoms similar to autism. China has less restrictions on the use of laboratory animals.

In 2016, he reached the AIDS advocacy group in Beijing to help recruit potential study participants – couples trying to get children and the man was HIV positive. There are already good experiences to protect against the transfer of AIDS virus in IVF. Instead, it aims to rewrite DNA before being born to make children less likely to have a HIV contract after they have been born.

Other scientists have experienced similar gene gene generating techniques in a laboratory dish to prevent inherited diseases, but not lead to live births.

For his CRISPR work, he did not seek advance approval by federal regulators. He published his study in an online registry of Chinese clinical trials on November 8 – after he started.

His laboratory wears norms that many Chinese peers support.

For example, the laboratory notifies all medical staff directly assisting the expected couples that the study involved in gene editing. They believed that they were assisting in standard IVF efforts, with an extra step of mapping of genomes, not treating the embryo, according to one of the embryologists involved in the research, Qin Jinzhou.

Patient consent forms were referred to the study unfortunately as an "AIDS vaccine" program.

He also requested consultation from an ethics committee outside the hospitals associated with the research. Lin Zhitong, founder of the Women's and Children's Hospital of Shenzhen Harmonicare, told the AP in October that the hospital ethics committee advised him, but she did not have any other involvement.

The prevention of information from medical staff about gene editing was acceptable because some fertility doctors would not agree to help HIV positive, "said Lin, who also said that he has not worked as a doctor or scientist, but he is from developers family property in hospitals.

Extinguishing or working around any study participants is not a standard practice in China, "and it breaks the broad spirit of informed consent," said Nie, the bioscience specialist. "In some cases, ethics committees are just rubber stamps."

After his claim, Harmonicare released a statement condemning human genes and published an investigation into any labages with the Laboratory.

The Shenzhen scientist released some findings in YouTube videos. He published his sport in English, not a Chinese.

"He wanted to attract attention in the international community. Now he did what he really wanted," said Nie.

His own university was held in the dark. The University of Southern Science and Technology said in a statement that he was not informed of his work, and had "seriously inflicted ethics and academic standards."

His research team included former adviser Rice, physician professor Michael Deem, who is sitting on the scientific advice boards of his two genetics companies. Rice said he had launched an investigation into the involvement of Deem.

In an interview last month at his Shenzhen laboratory, he said that genes edited by babies were inevitable. He wanted to be the first.

"There will be someone, somewhere, who does this," he said. "If it's not me, there's someone else."

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Follow Christina Larson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/larsonchristina .

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The Chief Medical Secretary AP Marilynn Marchione in Hong Kong, researcher Fu Ting and Emily Wang's video journalist, Beijing contributed to this report.

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This Associated Press series was produced in partnership with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Department. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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