Sci-tech Advances
Chinese ministry to investigate gene-edited babies claim
2018-11-29    

China's Ministry of Science and Technology will cooperate with other departments to investigate the claim that the world's first gene-edited babies have been created.

The Ministry of Science and Technology is highly concerned and called an emergency meeting Monday night after a Chinese researcher claimed to have created the world's first gene-edited babies, said Xu Nanping, vice minister of science and technology, Tuesday at a media event.

Xu said that the ministry was following the case closely and would seriously deal with it after clarification.

The vice minister noted that China limits in vitro human embryonic stem cell research to a maximum of 14 days, according to ethical guidelines on human embryonic stem cell research issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the former Ministry of Health in 2003.

He Jiankui, a Chinese researcher based in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, on Monday claimed to have altered the DNA of twin girls born a few weeks ago to prevent them from contracting HIV. It has triggered heated debate in the scientific community and on social media.

(Source: Xinhua, November 28, 2018)

Note: Vice Minister Xu Nanping is a member of Chinese Academy of Engineering elected in 2005.