A scientist in China claimed to have created the world’s first genetically edited babies, which will be the potentially world’s first genetically edited baby.
This discovery of the creation of genetically edited babies is controversial in the sense that many countries has banned such kinds of gene editing as the technology is still experimental and DNA changes can pass to future generations, potentially with unforeseen side-effects. Many mainstream scientists have out rightly rejected human experimentation on etical and moral terms.
He Jiankui of Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, credited with the creation of human edited babies says that he altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments, with one pregnancy resulting so far. He tried to develop a trait on the experimental baby that people naturally inherit: an ability to resist possible future infection with HIV.
“I feel a strong responsibility that it’s not just to make a first, but also make it an example,” He said. “Society will decide what to do next” in terms of allowing or forbidding such science.
There was uproar from scientific communities as news of human edited offspring was broadcasted. It was “unconscionable … an experiment on human beings that is not morally or ethically defensible,” said Dr Kiran Musunuru, a University of Pennsylvania gene-editing expert.
Jiankui practiced gene editing technique in mice, monkey, and human embryo for several years and has applied for a patent for his method. The researcher tried to suppress CCR5 gene, which forms a protein that allows HIV virus to cause Aids, in his human experimentation.
Dennis Nordstrom was born and raised in Tampa. Dennis has worked as a freelance journalist for nearly a decade and written for Tribune Media, the AP and MSNBC. As a journalist for Gator Ledger, Dennis mostly covers community events and human interest stories.