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China to Gene Researcher: stop your work



(Newser)

China has ordered a scientist to put an end to his controversial work following his bombing claim about creating the first baby in the world to be edited by a gene. Chinese Vice Minister of Science and Technology Xu Nanping said Thursday that He Jiankui's work "has crossed the line of morality and ethics respected by the university community and has been shocking and unacceptable", according to the AP. Xu also said that an investigation is ongoing, although its scope is unclear. He defended his work, although he pulled out of a pledge on Thursday at the international conference on gene editing in Hong Kong (he spoke on Wednesday).

"I will stay in China, my home country, and I will fully cooperate with any inquiries regarding my work," said the researcher in a statement. "My raw data will be made available to third parties." In addition, scientists to whom he was to address Thursday also condemned the research. A statement from the 14 conference leaders said that it was too early to apply science to eggs, sperm or embryos outside of the laboratory environment. In the United States, Rice University announced that it was investigating Michael Deem, a professor of bioengineering, who was an advisor to the university and who would have played a role in research on He, reported CNN. (It looks like her job has led to a second pregnancy.)


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