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Hastings Center Scholars Respond to Prison Sentence of Researcher Who Created First Gene-Edited Babies

(New York) Mildred Z. Solomon, President of The Hastings Center, and Josephine Johnson, Director of Research of The Hastings Center, responded to the sentencing Monday of Chinese scientist He Jiankui to three years in prison after genetically editing babies.

“The Chinese government is sending a message that it is taking research ethics seriously,” said Johnson, an attorney, and expert on the ethical, legal, and policy implications of biomedical technologies.

Solomon said, “He Jainkui’s actions were clearly wrong, but in addition to holding individual renegades accountable, all life science and bioengineering graduate schools should engage scientists-in-training in deeper reflection about the social and ethical implications of their work.”

He announced at a conference in Hong Kong last year that he had created the world’s first genetically edited babies — twin girls. At the conference, he said that he used in vitro fertilization to create human embryos that were resistant to H.I.V.

On Monday, media also reported that He’s work had resulted in a third genetically edited baby, who had been previously undisclosed.

Published on: December 30, 2019
Published in: Bioethics, Children and Families, Emerging Biotechnology, Ethics, Gene Editing, Genetic Testing & Screening, Global Health, Health and Health Care, Medical Education, Medicine & Business, Reproduction & Technology, Science and Society

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